Neurobiology: Mind Reader

The microscope is a pathway to the mind for Patricia Goldman-Rakic, who has spent the past 30 years immersed in the frontal lobe

The great irony of human intelligence is that the only species on Earth capable of reason, complex-problem solving, long-term planning and consciousness understands so little about the organ that makes it all possible--the brain. Scientists' knowledge of how and why the brain works is patchy at best compared with their awareness of other vital body parts--heart, lungs, kidneys, skin.

Until Patricia Goldman-Rakic started delving into it, the most important part of the brain, the frontal lobe, was a veritable blank sheet. A gray, wrinkled chunk of tissue tucked behind the forehead and taking up about a third of the total...

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