Karl Deisseroth has spent his life pursuing truths about the human mind, both as a renowned clinical psychiatrist and as a researcher creating and developing the revolutionary field of optogenetics, which uses light to help decipher the brain's workings. In Projections, he combines his knowledge of the brain's inner circuitry with a deep empathy for his patients to examine what mental illness reveals about the human mind and the origin of human feelings--how the broken can illuminate the unbroken.
Projections describes [Deisseroth's] experience as a clinician and researcher, offering up case studies from his practice and exploring the biological underpinnings of his patients’ conditions ... While the prose may overreach on occasion, more often it conveys insight ... Because of his experiences as a physician and researcher, Dr. Deisseroth recognizes the limitations of science and medicine and the transcendent value of elemental human connection.
Stories—sprinkled with clinical and scientific observations, personal and philosophical musings—about challenging and peculiar patients are the core of this book ... Deisseroth overly emphasizes optogenetics, neuroscience research utilizing light to influence genetically changed neurons, but his pondering of any possible evolutionary role for mental illness is compelling, as is his elucidation of the emotional burden for healers who take on devastating psychiatric situations.
Deisseroth, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, melds the personal with the clinical in his masterful debut on how the human mind works and what can be learned when it goes awry ... Writing with abundant empathy, Deisseroth brings his patients’ struggles to life as he educates about both neuroscience and humanity. This is a must-read.