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The Root of Thought: Unlocking Glia- the Brain Cell That Will Help Us Sharpen Our Wits, Heal Injury, and Treat Brain Disease
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The Root of Thought: Unlocking Glia- the Brain Cell That Will Help Us Sharpen Our Wits, Heal Injury, and Treat Brain Disease

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  13 reviews

Ninety percent of your brain cells are glial cells - and, until recently, scientists thought they did little more than hold your brain together. New research reveals that they might hold the key to understanding intelligence, treating psychiatric disorders and brain injuries, and maybe even curing Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's disease. In The Root of Thought,

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Published (first published 2009)
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I recently read The Root of Thought by Andrew Koob , expecting to get better insight on the role of glial cells in the brain, billed as potentially more than just critical to housekeeping in the brain, of which they comprise 90%. Unfortunately, although the author seems to be a somewhat well-credentialed young investigator of neuroscience, he doesn’t make a compelling case that glia, in particular, astrocytes, as the root of thought. Although he made some interesting claims, such as about the po ...more
Humor injected throughout made this more enjoyable while covering the topic of the neglected glial cells. The brain research history in the beginning was a bit of a slog. I was more interested in the research related to psychiatric disorders, degenerative brain disease, traumatic brain injury and brain cancer. As glial cells may explain intelligence, creativity. Imagination and dreams, I hope there will be more research funding in this area instead of primarily focusing on the neurons. This book ...more
Per Kristian Hoff
The title is a bit misleading, the focus here is glia; how it works and what we know, but if you are interested in neuroscience and biology at a fundamental level it will deliver. The speculation is bold and the truth will likely end up being closer to the midpoint between the neuronal doctrine he tries to fight and the gliacentric view he pushes. There's enough research and findings to point research in an exciting direction tho, and if this holds up more prominent names should mention glia and ...more
Last week I felt like reading something about popular science, so I went down to the library and randomly picked up this book. Maybe because I know almost nothing about brain science, I thought this book was hilarious. It is basically an angry rant about how unfair it is that all these years neurons have received all the attention in brain research, while the other cells that make up our brains, glia, have been wrongly ignored by scientists.

This subversive theory essentially proposes that, even
Bob Nichols
Koob challenges a century of what he calls the "Neuron Religion," which excludes 90% of brain matter, the glia cells, that are tossed aside as filler, brain matter. Koob states that neurons take in sensory input related to energy gathering and procreation and express motor output that is directed toward these objectives. Without glia cells, sensory input and motor output is reflexive in the stimulus-response mode and function "without the inhibition of thinking." Inbetween input and output lies ...more
OK JaeWoo
Mar 07, 2014 OK JaeWoo marked it as to-read
This was an interesting read, a lot of good, basic history of neuroscience, but the similes killed me! There were so many ridiculous similes that it would take me a few paragraphs to recover from each one. Also, I love glia more than most people, but he was definitely fact, at one point he actually called neurons the glue! The message did sink in, though. Today, I was reading about jet-lagged hamsters and their lack of hippocampal neurons. My first thought, "Did anyone count glia? ...more
Wow I love this book...

So it's very probable that it's Glia, specifically astrocytes, that are at the root of our deep thinking, imagination, and creativity, etc...

I enjoyed how information dense this was too, all the while keeping the mood up with vivid little analogies and sprinkles of humor.
Kind of interesting - downloaded it because I'm interested in brains, having had a little problem with my own. Tone a bit too populist for my taste, but it did make me think about the role of the astrocyte.
Somewhat informative. Too many "it could be that," "it's possible that," etc. In other words, the information presented reads like speculation.
very poorly edited. it's a collection of notes put together to make a book.

Eve Mitts
my first digital book
Good history and informative
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Apr 08, 2015
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“The leech is more developed than the flatworm, with one glial cell for every 30 neurons, and the glial cells occupying 51 percent of the nervous system space.” 0 likes
“percent of the rodent brain and 90 percent of the human brain. The ratio of cell number of astrocytes in the cortex increases as the intellect of the animal increases. The mouse has about .3 astrocytes for every 1 neuron. In the human, 1.65 astrocytes to 1 neuron are in the cortex. In fact, the increasing number of astrocytes correlates with the considered intellect of the species.” 0 likes
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