We live in a fast world, where time seems to shrink. We are continuously logged on, called on for immediate replies via e-mail, tweets and text messages, and submerged by information conveyed to us in the quickest and most direct method: sight. We tend to forget that our brain is a slow machine, and our attempts at imitating fast machines are bound to cause frustration and anxiety. In this book the author leads us into the sphere of slowness and contemplation and explains the brain mechanisms that guide the human organism's rapid reactions. Such mechanisms may be of genetic origin, but some have also been selected by evolution or by humanity itself throughout its cultural development. The reader will grow familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of a civilization dominated by quick relationships and decisions, in which actions prevails over thought. Ultimately, the book offers a brief respite from the pressure and demands of everyday life.
Lamberto Maffei - the former director of Italy's National Research Council Neuroscience Institute and the Scuola Normale Superiore's Neurobiology Laboratory in Pisa - is the president of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and professor emeritus of Neurobiology at the Scuola Normale.