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Publisher's Summary

"Eagleman renders the secrets of the brain’s adaptability into a truly compelling page-turner.” (Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner)

Livewired reads wonderfully like what a book would be if it were written by Oliver Sacks and William Gibson, sitting on Carl Sagan’s front lawn.” (The Wall Street Journal)

What does drug withdrawal have in common with a broken heart? Why is the enemy of memory not time but other memories? How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue, or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Why did many people in the 1980s mistakenly perceive book pages to be slightly red in color? Why is the world’s best archer armless? Might we someday control a robot with our thoughts, just as we do our fingers and toes? Why do we dream at night, and what does that have to do with the rotation of the Earth?   

The answers to these questions are right behind our eyes. The greatest technology we have ever discovered on our planet is the three-pound organ carried in the vault of the skull. This book is not simply about what the brain is; it is about what it does. The magic of the brain is not found in the parts it’s made of but in the way those parts unceasingly reweave themselves in an electric, living fabric. 

In Livewired, you will surf the leading edge of neuroscience atop the anecdotes and metaphors that have made David Eagleman one of the best scientific translators of our generation. Covering decades of research to the present day, Livewired also presents new discoveries from Eagleman’s own laboratory, from synesthesia to dreaming to wearable neurotech devices that revolutionize how we think about the senses.

©2020 David Eagleman (P)2020 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Masterful ... Outstanding popular science."⁠ (Kirkus Reviews, starred)

"An altogether fascinating tour of the astonishing plasticity and interconnectedness inside the cranial cradle of all of our experience of reality, animated by Eagleman’s erudite enthusiasm for his subject, aglow with the ecstasy of sensemaking that comes when the seemingly unconnected snaps into a consummate totality of understanding." (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings)

"Vivid ... Since the passing of Isaac Asimov, we haven’t had a working scientist like Mr. Eagleman, who engages his ideas in such a variety of modes. Livewired reads wonderfully like what a book would be if it were written by Oliver Sacks and William Gibson, sitting on Carl Sagan’s front lawn." (Wall Street Journal)   

What listeners say about Livewired

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is this the key to life?

this book blew my mind wide open! there are so many practical lessons and aha moments! highly recommend!

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Fascinating

I enjoyed listening to the science behind the bionics. on Brene Browns podcast Dr Eagleman was interviewed which inspired me to purchase the book. It is interesting and inspiring. Thank you.

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it will change your view of the brain

on the content:
brilliant and insightful. the author uses clever analogies that allow readers to digest the concepts easily. completely changed my outlook of how the brain functions.

on the narration:
well paced and well spoken, in other words not painfully boring.

other note:
the part on the possibilities of mechanical live wiring inspired by the brain is odd and probably many many years down the line but interesting.

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  • Adi
  • 2020-12-05

Very interesting but the book shpold have had

A PDF attached to it since there's a lot of illustrations that you have to listen to during the book

12 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-29

Inspiring

I was blown away with this book. David tells an incredible story about the history and progress within neuroscience that brings us up to date with where research stands today.

His work on sensory augmentation and expansion at Neosensory becomes quite clear in this book covering what is currently possible and what capabilities will inevitably arrive in the future. (I bought a Neosensory Buzz when I finished those chapters)

Ultimately his thoughts on how to approach innovation through the lens of “Livewiring” is truly inspiring and has already influenced how I plan to approach specific problems at our startup.

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  • B. Herbert
  • 2020-12-29

Time to re-learn human learning

I’ve been following developments in Neuroplasticity and long-term memory for about a decade, and in that time most of our formative beliefs have been shattered. First, this book gives ample reason for hope for those who have suffered from brain injuries or impairment due to illness or trauma. Second the book teases us with developments underway to supplement our senses as well as to plug in novel sensory inputs or stimuli. The book provides examples of how this can create completely new and more ‘in-touch’ and effective interfaces for devices, vehicles and interactive experiences.
I am involved in software and data science, and the author compared and contrasted software approaches to learning with what we’ve recently learned about how ‘nature’ handles learning. He also notes how nature handles memory, fault tolerance, and obsolescence/upgrades, and notes how we could learn from nature in designing our technical systems!
narrator lacks a bit in charisma or perhaps inflection but speaks clearly and was fine, just not as great as the content.

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  • Rob
  • 2020-10-19

A better way to connect

We often hear people complain about not being able to see things from other people’s perspective. Well, this book helps to understand how and where we’re different and yet similar from each other. A good addition to readings on understanding the human condition.

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  • Brett W. Hobson
  • 2020-09-13

My mind has been expanded and forever changed!

Livewired has jumped to my favorite book. I think years from now were someone to autopsy my grey matter they would be able to mark exactly when I read this phenomenal book beautifully read by David Eagleman as my brain has changed, enlarged and adapted to the wealth of discoveries afforded the reader. Eagleman is as proficient and adept a narrator as he is a writer. This is a must read actually a must listen!! Soooooo good!

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  • Paul
  • 2020-12-27

*boom*

Blew my mind, paragraph after paragraph!

And it’s always good to hear a book straight from the authors mouth.

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  • Vicki
  • 2020-12-18

Absolutely fascinating

I found this book after listening to the author on a podcast. I'm so glad I did. First, I usually hate authors and narrators but Eagleman did a great job narrating his own book. I've read several books on the brain and how it works and this is absolutely the most accessible to a non-scientist.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-27

love it

awesome book. happy that dr eagleman reads his own book. very easy to listen to!

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  • Rene A.
  • 2021-01-26

Livewired And incredible book

I truly truly enjoyed this book David Eagleman discovered your book completely by coincident it is one of my best Brook I ever listen to incredibly knowledgeable and brings so many answers specifically love the section about why we dream I highly recommend this to family especially with young ones thank you again, GOD BLESS This beautiful world we live in

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  • j&s
  • 2021-01-22

My understanding of brain function is revised!

A fascinating book that is full of forward looking information based in research. Perspective changing!

1 person found this helpful