Proust, Art and Neuroscience

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Ever read a passage in a book, or hear a bit of music, and think, "how did they do that? How did the author or composer get inside my head?"

Well, science writer Jonah Lehrer says that artists have a pretty good track record understanding the subtleties of our minds — often well ahead of scientists.

Whitman, Proust, Stravinsky, Cezanne — each of them, Lehrer writes, anticipated major breakthroughs in what today we call neuroscience.

Proust didn't invent Prozac, but he connected the body to the mind in a way Lehrer said no one had before.

This hour On Point: artists and intimations of neuroscience.Guest:

Jonah Lehrer, editor-at-large for Seed Magazine, a magazine about science in our culture. His new book is "Proust was a Neuroscientist."

This program aired on December 3, 2007.


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