Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Science - 240 pages

When journalist Dennis Cass was nineteen years old his stepfather, Bill, suffered from a psychotic break. Cass tried to commit him to a mental institution only to watch Bill escape from a cab en route to a Harlem hospital and run raving down the streets of Manhattan. Some fifteen years later, a bout of writer's block turned Cass's thoughts toward the brain.

A complete stranger to science, Cass immersed himself in the world of neuroscience, subjecting himself to brain scans, psychological tests, and scientific conferences, as he attempted to gain a better understanding of ADHD, anxiety, stress, motivation and reward, and consciousness. Then things got a little weird. What began as a more clinical effort to understand himself soon became a personal and emotional journey into the fragile, mysterious workings of the mind and the self.

Head Case is a charming, hilarious, and at times harrowing memoir of scientific experimentation. It's a story of science and society, of fathers and sons, and of how the past lives on in the present. Along the way the book asks timeless questions: What do we know about ourselves? What can we know about ourselves? And how much self-knowledge can a single person handle?

 

What people are saying - Write a review

HEAD CASE: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain

User Review  - Kirkus

A brainstorm that brings regrets yields a different sort of popular book on the state of neuroscience.Grappling with a bad bout of writer's block, freelancer Cass suddenly asked himself: How can you ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
15
Section 3
31
Section 4
45
Section 5
61
Section 6
77
Section 7
93
Section 8
108
Section 12
161
Section 13
175
Section 14
191
Section 15
211
Section 16
213
Section 17
215
Section 18
216
Section 19
221

Section 9
109
Section 10
127
Section 11
145
Section 20
230
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Dennis Cass has been a journalist for ten years, writing for Harper's, Spin, Mother Jones, and Slate.com. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son.

Bibliographic information