Susan Greenfield

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A Day in the Life of the Brain

Posted by on 9 September 2016

A Day in the Life of the Brain: The Neuroscience of Consciousness from Dawn till Dusk


Allen Lane, 6 October 2016, £20



Each of us has a unique and subjective inner world, one that we can never share directly with anyone else. But how does a tangle of brain cells conjure up this rich experience of consciousness that occupies our every waking moment? Despite the remarkable progress that has been made in understanding the brain, consciousness still poses one of the greatest challenges to science.


In this ground-breaking book, world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield illuminates the mystery of consciousness as she traces a single day in the life of the brain. What happens when we savour a meal or drink a glass of wine, spend time outdoors or stare at a screen, daydream or sleep? How do our minds change when we are young or old, or suffering from depression or dementia?


From being awoken by an alarm to walking the dog, working in an open plan office to dreaming, Greenfield follows the typical person as they go about their daily routine, revealing insights about the brain along the way. She also introduces the tantalising notion that the answer to the enduring enigma of consciousness may be found in neuronal assemblies – a brain process that her lab at Oxford, along with others around the world, is investigating. Drawing on this pioneering research and on diverse findings from physics, philosophy and psychology, she reveals how consciousness changes throughout the day and throughout our lives, and allows us to build an entirely personal view of the world.


The Private Life of the Brain has been 15 years in print and 8-9 years in Amazon’s top 10 on books on the brain. It posits theories of consciousness that Greenfield’s lab is now evidencing through experiment. This is the sequel.


Media contact: Annabel Huxley tel: 020 7 010 3419