Dr Matteo Farinella & Dr Hana Ros - Neurocomic (4 stars)

A Wellcome Trust-backed graphic guide to the brain

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Dr Matteo Farinella & Dr Hana Ros - Neurocomic

(Nobrow Press)

How does the brain work? And what exactly is a neurotransmitter, serotonin or a synapse? Not, perhaps, questions pondered every day but if you ever require a quick and (relatively) simple guide to what scientists have learned about the brain, this Wellcome Trust-backed book does the job.

It’s told in comic form – though the illustrations are basic and the ‘plot’ surreal – as a man travels through his own brain, meeting notable experts who deliver snappy precis of their research. Ultimately, it suggests, the way we use our imagination to read comics is not so different from the way our brain makes any connection into a pattern.

There are some nifty representations, but some of the more technical detail could do with fuller explanation. The lack of suggestions for further reading also seems like a missed opportunity. While the book doesn’t assume any prior knowledge, it’s probably of most use as a primer for a bright older school pupil or student thinking of embarking on more specialised study.

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