Top Picks: Neurology 101

With the release of the documentary Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, it's a great time to reflect on Sacks' work and life. Try these books to learn more about neurology.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat and Other Clinical Tales is Oliver Sacks' classic consisting of clinical studies that provide as compelling a reading experience as any work of fiction. Sacks investigates “odd” and rare mental phenomenon to illuminate universal aspects of human thought.

Wider Than the Sky is a general introduction to Gerald Edelman’s more advanced, scholarly level books on the study of consciousness, brain function and development.

A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness is adapted from V.S. Ramachandran’s artful and clear BBC lectures on consciousness. This thin book is aimed at a general audience and hits the mark precisely.

The Mind of A Mnemonist is by A.R. Luria, the literary precursor for the vastly entertaining clinical narratives popularized by Sacks. This is his study of synesthesia, abstraction and memory.

Descartes' Error by Antonio Damasio considers the long-debated concept of emotions in reasoning. Damasio goes a long way to explaining the effect of the biological structures of the brain and the centrality of emotion in human reasoning.