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A portrait of the brain by Adam Zeman
  1. Ania Crawshaw1,
  2. Katharine Harding1,2
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2 Institute for Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katharine Harding, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; katharineharding{at}

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Inviting the author to Book Club can be a high-risk strategy. There is always the possibility that no one will have liked it, and an awkward hour will ensue, littered with disingenuous attempts to spin a positive angle. There was no danger of that when Adam Zeman, Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at Peninsula Medical School, joined us to discuss about his second book: ‘A portrait of the brain’.1

It is a beautiful account of the brain, starting at the atomic level, then gradually zooming out chapter by chapter, ending at the level of the soul. In a style reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, Zeman uses neurological case histories to illustrate our understanding of each layer. Several readers independently drew a comparison between the two authors, and so we were interested to hear that Zeman …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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