The Frontal Cortex


Here’s an embarassing story. I’m browsing a bookstore in San Francisco, killing a little time before a radio interview, and I can’t help but wander over to the table with Proust Was A Neuroscientist on it. I’m actually paging through Exit Ghost, trying to decide if I really need more Roth on the prostate (apparently, I do) when a fellow browser picks up my book. I can’t help but observe. I watch her flip through the pages before she looks at the back flap, which has my picture on it. Then she looks back at me and I’m staring right at her. She raises an eyebrow and I turn a crimson red before confessing with a slight nod. I then run out of the store.

I’d like to thank everyone who came out to B&N in NYC last night. I had a great time. And if you happen to be near Menlo Park tonight, be sure to stop by Kepler’s Bookstore around 7.


  1. #1 Stuart Coleman
    November 8, 2007

    I just started reading your blog, but I live in Palo Alto so I’ll stop by and pick up the book. Are you doing a reading or is it more informal?

  2. #2 Katy
    November 8, 2007

    You should come to Chicago! I just finished your book, and it’s great! I think you stole my interests: I was a neuroscience lab tech for two years at McLean and now I’m applying to grad school for literature. I particularly liked your chapter on George Eliot and positivism.

  3. #3 Stuart Coleman
    November 9, 2007

    That was great! Thanks for doing it, I can’t wait to read the book.

  4. #4 manic hound
    November 9, 2007

    why did you blush? You should have marched right up and offered to sign it, etc.

  5. #5 Steve Silberman
    November 9, 2007

    Cute story. What bookstore?

  6. #6 leon
    November 9, 2007

    just bought and starting reading your book. I’m all the way over the pacific ocean in seoul, korea.

    i finished the first chapter and was quite enlightened. i’m reading this book after finishing the black swan and soros’ the age of fallibility and it all goes well together.

  7. #7 whitewhale
    November 9, 2007

    here’s to the body electric!

  8. #8 Mentifex
    November 10, 2007

    What an egotist!

  9. #9 Will Schenk
    November 10, 2007

    This was a plot from the first episode of Californication. If that show is anything to go by, blushing was an evolutionary response in your favor…

  10. #10 truth machine
    November 13, 2007

    The ScienceBlogs weekly recap says “Check out what reviewer D.T. Max said about it in the New York Times”. So I did, and in essence he says that Lehrer is precocious but wrong. Which is correct — Proust was not, in fact, a neuroscientist, and Lehrer’s thesis is much like that of those bozos who liken modern physics to Tao Buddhism.

  11. #11 Audrey
    November 14, 2007

    I wanted to see you when you came to Del Mar, CA last friday, but went to a birthday gig instead. Your book is amazing, I find myself bringing it up in conversation all the time. Thanks for visiting my town. Please come again.

  12. #12 Jay Neely
    November 14, 2007

    Hey Jonah,

    I just attended your talk at Harvard Bookstore(I asked about the methods of authors who were scientifically validated vs those who weren’t, and the potential of applied neuroscience to virtual worlds); your talk has helped inspire me to read Proust, which is probably a good first step toward buying your own book.

    It looks like you’ve been getting around in your book tour. If you’re in Boston later, hope you’ll mention it on your blog; I’ve subscribed. Best of luck with the rest of your book tour!


  13. #13 Albert
    November 15, 2007

    I first saw your book at the Borders in the new San Francisco Shopping Center in October, but I remembered the title wrong. Then one morning I heard about umami, Escoffier and your book on NPR on the way to work one day. Since I am a foodie I bought your book on Amazon immediately. I finished the Stravinsky chapter this morning. Now I am reading Proust as a distraction at work.

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