The brain is the center of what makes us human. Art, culture, science, democracy, religion, technology - products of human thought and ideas, products of the unique capabilities of the human brain. Yet, for all but the last few decades, the human brain has been essentially a mystery, a biological organ whose functioning we could at best guess at from observations of human behavior and mental pathologies but about which we knew exceedingly little. All of that has changed, however. The rise of neuroscience as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, deep investments during the 1990s - the Decade of the Brain - in new technologies, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, and long persistence on the part of pioneering scientists have given us a wealth of new insights into the behavior and function of the human central nervous system.
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