(London, February 1, 2007) In this week's issue, TIME presents "The Brain: A User's Guide." TIME reports, "As 21st century science and technology open the brain to us as never before, accepted truths are becoming less true. The brain, we're finding, is indeed a bordered organ, subdivided into zones and functions. But the lines are blurrier than we ever imagined." This week's issue will be on newsstands from Friday February 2, 2007.
The special issue includes:
Steven Pinker, distinguished Harvard professor and author of "How the Brain Works," reports in TIME's "The Mystery of Consciousness" that a new field, the science of consciousness, is shaking some of our deepest convictions of what it means to be human. Pinker writes that the feature that neuroscientists "find least controversial is the one the many people… find the most shocking…. the idea that our thoughts, sensations, joys and aches consist entirely of physiological activity in the tissues of the brain."
In "How the Brain Rewires Itself," Sharon Begley, author of the forthcoming book "Change Your Mind, Change Your Brain," explains the new science of neuroplasticity, which overturns long-held assumptions that the adult brain changes very little, and only for the worse. "The brain can be rewired," writes Begley.
TIME's Michael Lemonick reports in "The Flavor of Memories" on new research that reveals that memory and emotion are intimately linked, causing any kind of emotional experience to create stronger memories in our brains. TIME reports on new studies on the connection that may help victims of post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological conditions.
In "Six Lesson for Handling Stress," TIME's Christine Gorman reports on the science behind what's going on in your brain when you're burnt out and what you can do to avoid it. Lesson No. 1 in managing stress and avoiding burnout is: just breathe.
Also...Scott Haig examines the power of hope and Michael Brunton uncovers the secrets of babies' brains
Vatican Secretary of State Tells TIME That He and The Pope Are "The Consummate Duo"
In a rare interview, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State and No. 2 member of the Catholic Church hierarchy, tells TIME's Jeff Israely that he and Pope Benedict are "the consummate duo." Bertone's role, Israely writes, is less like a diplomat and "more like a Prime Minister." Of Bertone's swiftly orchestrated and highly successful trip to Turkey for the Pope in the wake of his comments on Islam, Bertone says, "Words have great value. But sometimes gestures can have such an enormous emotional impact that words might not be able to achieve."
10 Questions: Bill Gates to TIME on Scaling Back His Role at Microsoft: "The Truth Is, I Don't Know How It Will Feel"
TIME's managing editor Richard Stengel and staff writer Lev Grossman interview Bill Gates, who admits that being a dad has changed the way he thinks about computing: "For my son, I limit the hours he can use the computer." When asked if there is better learning through technology he says, "Learning is mostly about creating a context for motivation. It's about why should you learn things. Technology plays a role, but it's not panacea."
Hillary Clinton Tells TIME That President Bush "Is the Only One Who Can Reverse the Course"
Back in Washington after her weekend in Iowa, Hillary Clinton tells TIME's Karen Tumulty, "It felt actually more like a week before an election than a year before the election. There was that much emotion and intensity." Tumulty writes that Clinton is "not ready to say the words that voters want to hear: I was wrong." Clinton says, "The President was the one who was wrong. The President led people to believe that he would be prudent in the exercise of the authority he was given, and that proved not to be true. Keeping the focus on the President and Vice President, about what they did and didn't do, the mistakes they made, is really where it needs to be, because he's the only one who can reverse the course."
Michael Elliott at The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos: "The Vanishing American"
"There were no really big American names at Davos this year… But even if the cream of the Bush Administration had shown up, they would not have shaken the firm conviction in Davos that, in the wake of the fiasco in Iraq and the mauling Republicans received in the midterm elections, the U.S. is no longer the all-powerful hegemon, the hyperpower, that it seemed to be after the end of the cold war. To some, the schadenfreude was too much to resist: "They've been knocked off their perch," said one Brit. But much more often, the relative decline of American power was discussed with a worried mien, one that recognized that, if the U.S. did not make things happen in the world, then nobody else would, either," writes Elliott.
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