Welcome to Neurologues!
Neurologue \ˈn(y)u̇-ˌrō,lôg / n. – a narrative, book, or illustrated work that documents a neurological experience or condition.
This is a compilation of essays on relationships between literature, neuroscience, & cognitive science. The writers of these essays are students in a senior seminar entitled “Brain Narratives,” at Queens College in Flushing, New York.
The focus of Neurologues is the the portrayal of the human brain—“three pounds of flesh” (in the words of neurologist Antonio Damasio)—in literary works. The brain is a central character in the history of literature. As knowledge about the brain has exploded in the past two decades, writers have been responding with new narratives that explore how those three pounds of flesh shape human experience. In addition, brain science is beginning to understand that “story as mental activity is essential to human thought” (in the words of literary critic and cognitive scientist Mark Turner).
With the guidance of Professor Jason Tougaw, we have read works of literature, cognitive science, neurobiology, philosophy of mind, and literary criticism about the relationships between our bodies, brains, minds, selves, and consciousness. In response, we have made our own contributions to interdisciplinary debates in the emerging field of cognitive cultural studies–with the hope of emphasizing literature’s distinctive contributions to cultural conversations about the relationship between physiology and self.