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Proust was a Neuroscientist

Jonah Lehrer (2008)


While Lehrer is a well-known science writer now, this book put Lehrer on the map as a major proponent of  a "fourth culture," where science and art come back together in an active way. As the title suggests, in this book Lehrer discusses various artists whose work speaks to the mental faculties that neuroscience has only recently begun to study. Lehrer touches upon Cezanne's work in relation to visual perception, Proust's novel and its applications to the science of memory, how George Eliot's writings reveal the plasticity of the brain, and more. Proust was a Neuroscientist is a fun read into the depths of these artists' processes, but also opens the door for more serious consideration about the role of artists in our society as being separate from science, and the benefits that our culture could experience should science and art ever have a more open, collaborative relationship.


(This book is singled out because it opened my eyes to the connection between art and science.   It was the first inspiration behind the Essinova | Art + Science project. - BeiBei Song)

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SciArt in America has a nice selection of book recommendations.


Click to view more titles in their Library.

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A History of Rock and Dance Music
Intelligence is not Artificial
A History of Jazz Music
A History of Silicon Valley
A History of Popular Music
A Brief History of Knowledge
A Visual History of the Visual Arts
Books by Piero Scaruffi


To keep up with new books and updates by the incredibly prolific, free thinking and free wheeling

poet, cognitive scientist, cultural historian, lecturer, political commentator, software consultant and entrepreneur, go to his bibliography.

Edge Summer 2015 reading list
Books by people at 




Launched in 1996, is the online version of "The Reality Club" and a living document on the Web to display the activities of "The Third Culture". 


The Reality Club was an informal gathering of intellectuals who met from 1981 to 1996 in Chinese restaurants, artist lofts, investment banking firms, ballrooms, museums, living rooms and elsewhere. Reality Club members presented their work with the understanding that they will be challenged. The hallmark of The Reality club has been rigorous and sometimes impolite (but not ad hominem) discourse.


The motto of the Club was inspired by the late artist-philosopher James Lee Byars: "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves."


Here is a sample of books authored by people at Edge.  Visit Edge Library for more.