Did Your Brain Make You Do It?

Published: May 26th 2010
in Culture » Books

"My Brain Made Me Do It"
Pic: Prometheus Books

At the age of 22, Elie Sternberg is already a published author of two books. Sternberg double majored in neuroscience and philosophy at Brandeis and combines theses two passions in his latest book, My Brain Made Me Do It. We caught up with the young author to talk about his new book.




What would you say is the most interesting finding in My Brain Made Me Do It?


My goal in the book is to demonstrate that there is a plausible way that neuroscience and free will can be reconciled.  I believe that my most interesting finding is that decision-making seems to work in a way that can't be expressed in purely mathematical or physical terms.




How long did it take you to write the book?


About two years.




What would you say is the biggest misconception about the brain and how it works?


Probably the biggest misconception about the brain is the feeling people have that scientists know all about how it works.  The truth is that the brain is probably the least well understood and most mysterious part of nature.




There’s been a lot of debate as to what free will is and if it exists. How would you describe the concept? 


I would say that free will is the ability of the conscious self to dictate thought and action.  It is our power of decision-making and control over our bodies.




You double majored in philosophy and neuroscience. Are you more interested in one subject over the other? 


As I am pursuing a career in medical neurology, it looks as if neuroscience is more my central focus, however studying philosophy has helped me think and reason more effectively in everything I do, and will always be an integral part of my career.




As a young author, what advice do you have for aspiring writers?


It's a tough market, but the key is to seek out ideas that will grab a certain audience, and to write in a way that is adapted for that audience.




Have you thought about your next book?


I'm always brainstorming ideas, so yes.  I'm planning to write something this time that integrates aspects of clinical medicine.




For more information, visit www.amazon.ca.

Related articles: (My Brain Made Me Do It, Elie Sternberg, neuroscience, book, philosophy)
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