Brad Voytek on Oliver Sacks’ “Soft Thinking”

Bradley Voytek, cognitive scientist at the University of California, San Diego Neuroscience is a funny field because on the one hand it’s highly technical—dynamical systems analysis, computational complexity, and so on—but on the other hand it’s profoundly human; most of us neuroscientists don’t study fly brains or rat brains to learn how animals move and behave, we study them because we ultimately want to understand who we are, and how three gooey pounds of fat, water, and tissues in our head make us think, feel, create, and wonder. The fact that I, a practicing neuroscientist, can openly admit to giving a shit about the human side of neuroscience without fearing “outing” myself as a soft thinker is in no small part due to artistry of Dr. Sacks’ blend of scientific…


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