Catalogue


Memoirs of an addicted brain : a neuroscientist examines his former life on drugs /
Marc Lewis.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : PublicAffairs, 2012, c2011.
description
327 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1610391470, 9781610391474
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : PublicAffairs, 2012, c2011.
isbn
1610391470
9781610391474
contents note
The Tabor chronicles. Changing state -- Giving up control -- Into the fire -- Dopamine and desire: a romantic interlude -- Life and death in California. Pulling out the stops -- Psychedelics, sex, and violence -- A psychedelic finale: cops and angels -- Heroin, the Heap, and the sleep of the dead -- Getting down -- Going places. Travel broadens the mind -- Consciousness lost and found -- The opium fields -- In sickness and in health. Night life in Rat Park -- Crime and punishment -- Healing -- Epilogue.
abstract
A neuroscientist tells the story of his youth spent as a drug addict, while using the specific example of his own story to help explain drug use and addiction in general from a scientific standpoint.
catalogue key
11323749
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2012-01-23:
In this meticulous, evocative memoir, Lewis, a neuroscientist and ex-junkie, explores how narcotics affect the brain and beguile the mind. His picaresque narrative recounts a lavish drug history: booze, cough syrup and pot at boarding school; LSD during his Vietnam-era college days at Berkeley; intermittent addictions to heroin and prescription opiates that led to pharmacy break-ins and arrest; a laughing-gas party in the Malaysian jungle. His odyssey frames a fascinating look at the mechanisms by which drugs disrupt brain chemistry, excite or sedate neurons, and trash perception, reasoning, and emotion. (A chapter on first love shows how sexual attraction stimulates the same dopamine reward system that hooks the brain on smack.) But Lewis also translates the neuroscience into luxuriant sensation with vivid depictions of the "absurdist carnival" of an acid trip or the "bright white pleasure" of a methamphetamine jag. His saga is as much trenchant psychology as it is hard neurology, as he probes the constant jangle of self-loathing and social awkwardness that drove him to drugs as an escape from reality. Lewis's unusual blend of scientific expertise, street cred, vivid subjectivity and searching introspection yields a compelling perspective on the perils and allure of addiction. Agent: Michael Levine, Westsood Artists (Canada).(Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Kirkus review in January 1 issue: "Developmental neuroscientist Lewis examines his odyssey from minor stoner to helpless, full-blown addict….as [he] unspools one pungent drug episode after another, he capably knits into the narrative an accessible explanation of the neural activity that guided his behavior. From opium pipe to orbitofrontal cortex, a smoothly entertaining interplay between lived experience and the particulars of brain activity."
Kirkus review in January 1 issue: "Developmental neuroscientist Lewis examines his odyssey from minor stoner to helpless, full-blown addict….as [he] unspools one pungent drug episode after another, he capably knits into the narrative an accessible explanation of the neural activity that guided his behavior. From opium pipe to orbitofrontal cortex, a smoothly entertaining interplay between lived experience and the particulars of brain activity." Publishers Weekly "Meticulous, evocative… Lewis's unusual blend of scientific expertise, street cred, vivid subjectivity and searching introspection yields a compelling perspective on the perils and allure of addiction."
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, January 2012
Kirkus Reviews, March 2012
The Australian, March 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A gripping, ultimately triumphant memoir that is the most comprehensible study of the neuroscience of addiction in a narrative that weaves between his dark relationship with drugs and a revelatory analysis of what was going on in his brain.
Main Description
Marc Lewis's relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin. He sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta's opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of addiction, desperation, deception, and crime. But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind. He explains the neurological effects of a variety of powerful drugs, and shows how they speak to the brain--itself designed to seek rewards and soothe pain--in its own language. And he illuminates how craving overtakes the nervous system, sculpting a synaptic network dedicated to one goal--more--at the expense of everything else.
Main Description
Marc Lewis's relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin. He sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta's opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of addiction, desperation, deception, and crime. But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind. He explains the neurological effects of a variety of powerful drugs, and shows how they speak to the brain-itself designed to seek rewards and soothe pain-in its own language. And he illuminates how craving overtakes the nervous system, sculpting a synaptic network dedicated to one goal-more-at the expense of everything else.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem