The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

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Library Journal Prepub Alert (09/15/2013):
Having wowed us with "New York Times" best sellers like "Physics of the Future", CUNY physics professor Kaku takes us into the new neuroscience, showing us that recording memories and videotaping our dreams aren't sf fantasies but reality. And soon we might be able to upload our brains to a computer. With an eight-city tour. Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly (12/16/2013):
In this expansive, illuminating journey through the mind, theoretical physicist Kaku (Physics of the Future) explores fantastical realms of science fiction that may soon become our reality. His futurist framework merges physics with neuroscience to model how our brains construct the future, and is loosely applied to demonstrations that "show proof-of-principle" in accomplishing what was previously fictional: that minds can be read, memories can be digitally stored, and intelligences can be improved to great extents. The discussion, while heavily scientific, is engaging, clear, and replete with cinematic references. Kaku's claims, however, often lack generalizability: his points about human thought are derived from research studies and patterns that emerge from discrete areas of analysis under highly sophisticated technological surveillance. The place of these esoteric conclusions in the nuanced processes of our daily life is rarely explained. Likewise, each issue raised, while fascinating, is equally fleeting: topics skip from telepathy helmets to cell phone MRIs in just over a page. Legal and ethical complications, too, arise with each predicted advance, though aren't given the attention they demand. These new mental frontiers make for captivating reading, yet Kaku's optimism and enthusiasm provides cover for what are mostly overhyped claims. Agent: Stuart Krichevsky. (Feb.) Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

Kirkus Reviews (01/01/2014):
Having written the enthusiastic but strictly science-based Physics of the Impossible (2008) and Physics of the Future (2011), Kaku (Theoretical Physics/City Univ. of New York) turns his attention to the human mind with equally satisfying results. Aware that predictions limited to a lifetime are usually wrong--where are the flying cars, cancer cures and Mars colonies foretold in the 1950s?--the author expands his forecasts to the next few centuries. He has no trouble foreseeing telepathy, telekinesis, intelligence pills, artificial memories and mind control. He agrees that centuries of research by physicians and neuroscientists has borne fruit, but he boasts that the end of the 20th century saw his own profession, physics, produce spectacular advances, with more to come. Acronymic high-tech machines (fMRI, PET, ECOG, DTI) allow researchers to watch the brain reason, see, remember and deliver instructions. Telepathy is no longer a fantasy since scanners can already detect, if crudely, what a subject is thinking, and genetics and biochemistry now allow researchers to alter memories and increase intelligence in animals. Direct electrical stimulation of distinct brain regions has changed behavior, awakened comatose patients, relieved depression, and produced out-of-body and religious experiences. Similar to the human genome program, massive research efforts in the United States and Europe to reverse-engineer the brain have the potential to vastly increase human potential as well as relieve disease and injury. "[W]e should treasure the consciousness that is found on the Earth," writes the author. "It is the highest form of complexity known in the universe, and probably the rarest." Kaku is not shy about quoting science-fiction movies and TV (he has seen them all). Despite going off the deep end musing about phenomena such as isolated consciousness spreading throughout the universe, he delivers ingenious predictions extrapolated from good research already in progress. COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Review Quotes:
Praise for Physics of the Future

"[A] wide-ranging tour of what to expect from technological progress over the next century or so.... fascinating--and related with commendable clarity"--"Wall Street Journal"

"Mind-bending........Kaku has a gift for explaining incredibly complex concepts, on subjects as far-ranging as nanotechnology and space travel, in language the lay reader can grasp....engrossing"--"San Francisco Chronicle

""Epic in its scope and heroic in its inspiration"--"Scientific American"

"[Kaku] has the rare ability to take complicated scientific theories and turn them into readable tales about what our lives will be like in the And just a little bit spooky"--"USA Today"

Praise for Physics of the Impossible

"An invigorating experience""
-The Christian Science Monitor"

"Kaku's latest book aims to explain exactly why some visions of the future may eventually be realized while others are likely to remain beyond the bounds of possibility. . . . Science fiction often explores such questions; science falls silent at this point. Kaku's work helps to fill a void."--"The Economist"

"Mighty few theoretical physicists would bother expounding some of these possible impossibilities, and Kaku is to be congratulated for doing so. . . . [He gets] the juices of future physicists flowing."--"Los Angeles Times"

Biographical Note:
MICHIO KAKU is a professor of physics at the City University of New York, cofounder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including "Hyperspace, Beyond Einstein, Physics of the Impossible, " and "Physics of the Future." He is the science correspondent for CBS's "This Morning" and host of the radio programs "Science Fantastic" and "Explorations in Science."

Review Citations:
Library Journal Prepub Alert 09/15/2013 pg. 47 (EAN 9780385530828, Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly 12/16/2013 (EAN 9780385530828, Hardcover)
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2014 (EAN 9780385530828, Hardcover)
New York Times Book Review 03/09/2014 pg. 21 (EAN 9780385530828, Hardcover)
New York Times Book Review 03/16/2014 pg. 26 (EAN 9780385530828, Hardcover)
Contributor Bio: Kaku, Michio
Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and the cofounder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and he continues Einstein's search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including his most recent work, Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100.

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