Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death

Category: Book
By (author): Owen, Adrian
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Medical
  MEDICAL / Neuroscience
  NON-FICTION / General
  SCIENCE / Cognitive Science
Publisher: Scribner
Published: June 2017
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in
Our Price:
$ 38.25
Availability:
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In this startling and thought-provoking book, which will remind readers of works by Oliver Sacks and Atul Gawande, a world-renowned neuroscientist reveals his controversial, groundbreaking work with patients whose brains were previously thought vegetative or non-responsive but turn out-in up to 20 percent of cases-to be vibrantly alive, existing in the "Gray Zone."

Into the Gray Zone takes readers to the edge of a dazzling, humbling frontier in our understanding of the brain: the so-called "gray zone" between full consciousness and brain death. People in this middle place have sustained traumatic brain injuries or are the victims of stroke or degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Many are oblivious to the outside world, and their doctors believe they are incapable of thought. But a sizeable number are experiencing something different: intact minds adrift deep within damaged brains and bodies. An expert in the field, Adrian Owen led a team that, in 2006, discovered this lost population and made medical history. Scientists, physicians, and philosophers have only just begun to grapple with the implications.

Following Owen's journey of exciting medical discovery, Into the Gray Zone asks some tough and terrifying questions, such as: What is life like for these patients? What can their families and friends do to help them? What are the ethical implications for religious organizations, politicians, the Right to Die movement, and even insurers? And perhaps most intriguing of all: in defining what a life worth living is, are we too concerned with the physical and not giving enough emphasis to the power of thought? What, truly, defines a satisfying life?

This book is about the difference between a brain and a mind, a body and a person. It is about what these fascinating borderlands between life and death have taught us about being human.
Review Quote*"Fascinating…With remarkable clarity, Owen punctuates his findings with concise dispatches on the human condition and the disparities between what is considered quality of life and what some consider an inhumane, dysfunctional existence….A striking scientific journey that draws hopeful attention to how the brain reacts, restores, and perseveres despite grave injury."
-Kirkus Reviews
Review Quote*"A fantastically thought provoking book that will cause you to question the most essential ideas you have about what it means to be alive, and what it means to be you. Adrian Owen is not just one of our top scientists, but a great storyteller."
-Daniel J. Levitin, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind
Review Quote*"Required reading for anyone who wants to explore the outer limits of consciousness, and the human spirit. Neuroscientist Adrian Owen takes us on gripping, often harrowing journey into the most mysterious realm of human experience: the twilight zone between life and death. He narrates this real-life scientific thriller with authority, compassion and unexpected humor. Into the Gray Zone is a riveting read that will open your eyes, your heart, and your mind."
-Joshua Horwitz, War of the Whales: A True Story, Winner, 2015 PEN Literary Award for Best Science Writing
Review Quote*"One of the most moving and gripping science books you're ever likely to read…Into the Gray Zone is both a crystal-clear description of cutting-edge neuroscience from one of the pioneers in the field, and a set of intensely personal stories about patients in the twilight of consciousness. Owen deftly knits these two strands together to raise fascinating ethical questions about human identity and value."
-Daniel Bor, author of The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning
Review Quote*"Immensely moving, profound, and engaging, with a zest for life and science that bubbles off the page…Owen has lived the dream of a neuroscientific discovery that changes thinking about a terrifying medical condition and how patients and their families can be given the answers they crave.  Reading how this happened will make you alternately laugh, gasp and cry."
-John Duncan, author of How Intelligence Happens