Friday, July 6, 2012

The Cerebellum: Brain for an Implicit Self, by Masao Ito


FT Press, ISBN 9780132623087, August 2011

This was an unexpectedly challenging read, due to a simple misunderstanding on my part. I was expecting popular science of the brain, aimed at the educated lay person. In fact, this is not "popular science" at all. It's aimed at the advanced student or young researcher, gathering together in one place the current state of the research on the cerebellum, and Ito's judgment about what it means, as well as next questions to be addressed in future research. It would be beyond foolish for me to attempt a detailed review of this book.

Nevertheless, I found it impressively readable given the distance by which it outpaces my knowledge in this area. Ito has a clear, straightforward style and a gift for explaining complex ideas. I finished this book with a sense that I have in fact increased my understanding of the cerebellum, the role it plays in the overall working of the brain and body, and what it means for the role the cerebellum in creating our sense of identity.

Recommended to the knowledgeable or the fearless.