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The Arts and Medicine
February 5, 2019

A Neuropsychologist’s Odyssey: Lyric Experimentation Breathes Life Into Loss

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuropsychology, ProHealth Care, Waukesha, Wisconsin
JAMA. 2019;321(5):434-435. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.20407

A contest advertised in a science magazine prompted Oxford-trained neuropsychologist Paul Broks to write his first book, Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology (2003, Grove/Atlantic Press), in which he used personal essays, case studies, dream sequences, science fiction, and more to examine the relationship between the brain and human behavior.

Although his entry did not win, it led to a book deal, became a best seller, and was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award. Until then, Broks had pursued a career of clinical practice, research, and teaching. After the book’s publication, he was hailed by some as the next Oliver Sacks, and though he continued to write for stage, film, and press, another book-length project seemed to elude him.

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