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A History of the Human Brain

From the Sea Sponge to CRISPR, How Our Brain Evolved

A History of the Human Brain
Bret Stetka By (author)
Product ID:  689988
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Timber Press

Limited ***

6.0 X 9.0 in
272 pg

SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Neuroscience
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Evolution
MEDICAL / Neuroscience


In A History of the Human Brain, popular science writer Bret Stetka reveals how the evolution of the brain made us human—and where it may lead us to next.


A History of the Human Brain is a unique, enlightening, and provocative account of the most significant question we can ask about ourselves.” —Richard Wrangham, author of The Goodness Paradox
“One of the most lucid, clear-eyed, and talented science writers of our time—Bret Stetka—now turns his attention to the evolution of the human brain, taking us on a captivating journey from its origins to the present, enhancing our understanding of how this phenomenal organ and its 100 billion neurons work.” —Eric Topol, MD, author of Deep Medicine
“Clear, evidence based and engrossing. What we know about how the human brain works could fit on a figurative pinhead. But if you want to understand what we know about its evolution, this book is a terrific resource.” —Felice Jacka, PhD, director of the Food & Mood Centre, Deakin University, Australia
“There are lots of ideas out there about consciousness and the human brain—the untidy product of millions of years of evolution. Bret Stetka comes as close as you could hope to making sense of them in this entertaining and wide-ranging book.” —Ian Tattersall, curator emeritus, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History

“Crack open this book and take a read. You will be transported, illuminated, and delighted.” —Psychology Today

“A readable and engaging history of how our most mysterious organ developed over time… from the brain’s improbable and watery beginnings to the super-complex marvel that’s found within the head of Homo sapiens today.” —The Genetic Literacy Project

Author Bio

Bret Stetka is an Editorial Director at—the professional division of He is a non-practicing physician, and a freelance health and science journalist for a variety of print and online publications. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. In 2006, he completed a research and science writing post-doctoral year at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, where he worked in a biological psychiatry laboratory and authored a number of scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals. He is now a regular contributor to NPR as well as Scientific American Magazine, where he writes about neuroscience, psychiatry, and evolution. His work has also appeared in WIRED and Men’s Journal, as well as Slate, Popular Mechanics, and The Atlantic.