The Frontal Cortex

Archives for November, 2007

Seattle and ADHD

Sorry about the radio silence – it’s been a hectic few days on tour. But I’ve had a really great time talking about science and art with everybody. If you’re a citizen of Seattle, I’ll be at Town Hall tonight… In other news, I thought it’s worth linking to the latest study on ADHD, which…

Profiling Psychopaths

It’s good to have Gladwell back. I’ve missed his writing these last few months. (To learn about his next book, check out Kottke.) His article this week was on the (pseudo)science that is criminal profiling: In the case of Derrick Todd Lee, the Baton Rouge serial killer, the F.B.I. profile described the offender as a…

Blushing

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,…

Molecular Gastronomy

The new epicurean trend has arrived: hydrocolloids: Despite its imposing name, a hydrocolloid is a simple thing. A colloid is a suspension of particles within some substance. A hydrocolloid is a suspension of particles in water where the particles are molecules that bind to water and to one another. The particles slow the flow of…

The Brian Lehrer Show

In case you’re interested, I should be on the Brian Lehrer show (no relation) on WNYC tomorrow morning (approximately 10:30ish) talking about (what else?) Proust and neuroscience. I’ll also be signing books at the Barnes and Noble at 82nd and Broadway tomorrow evening at 7 PM.

The Farm Bill

If I were a philosopher-king, the first thing I’d do is make Michael Pollan Secretary of Agriculture. Sometimes, he makes so much sense it actually hurts. In a Times op-ed yesterday, he assailed the latest version of the Farm Bill making their way through Congress. Although the bill contains essential money for food stamp programs,…

Press

More housekeeping/self-promotion here, but there was plenty of book news this weekend. First, the NY Times ran a nice review of my book written by D.T. Max. (If you haven’t read The Family That Couldn’t Sleep, you’re really missing out on a great science book.) Then the NY Post ran a very kind review. And…

Morning Edition

If you want to learn about umami, glutamate, veal stock and Auguste Escoffier, check out this story about Chapter 3 of my book on Morning Edition. It was a special thrill getting to do this with Robert Krulwich, who has long been one of my favorite science reporters.

Auden

Here’s W.H. Auden in The Dyer’s Hand generalizing about our senses: “The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.” Is Auden right? I think he nailed our acoustic cortex. (For…

The Subjectivity of Wine

The rules of the wine tasting were simple. Twenty five of the best wines under twelve dollars were nominated by independent wine stores in the Boston area. The Globe then assembled a panel of wine professionals to select their top picks in the red and white category. All of the wines were tasted blind. The…