John Elder Robison
A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening
in conversation with ALVARO PASCUAL-LEONE
$5 tickets on sale now
This event includes a book signing
March 31, 2016
(Doors at 5:30)
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138
$5.00 - On Sale Now
Harvard Book Store welcomes bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye JOHN ELDER ROBISON and Harvard Medical School professor of Neurology ALVARO PASCUAL-LEONE for a discussion of Robison's latest book, Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening, for which Dr. Pascual-Leone wrote the foreward.
About Switched On
It has long been assumed that people living with autism are born with the diminished ability to read the emotions of others, even as they feel emotion deeply. But what if we’ve been wrong all this time? What if that “missing” emotional insight was there all along, locked away and inaccessible in the mind?
In 2007 John Elder Robison wrote the international bestseller Look Me in the Eye, a memoir about growing up with Asperger’s syndrome. Amid the blaze of publicity that followed, he received a unique invitation: a team of Harvard neuroscientists asked him if he would participate in a study led by Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists at Harvard University. They wanted to use Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)—a new experimental brain therapy—in an effort to understand and then address the issues at the heart of autism and Aspergers. If they could stimulate the outer layer of John’s brain, it might induce it to rewire itself and increase his emotional IQ. Switched On is the extraordinary story of what happened next.
Having spent forty years as a social outcast, misreading others’ emotions or missing them completely, John is suddenly able to sense a powerful range of feelings in other people. However, this newfound insight brings unforeseen problems and serious questions. As the emotional ground shifts beneath his feet, John struggles with the very real possibility that choosing to diminish his disability might also mean sacrificing his unique gifts and even some of his closest relationships. Switched On is a real-life Flowers for Algernon, a fascinating and intimate window into what it means to be neurologically different, and what happens when the world as you know it is upended overnight.
“Switched On is a mind-blowing book that will force you to ask deep questions about what is important in life. Would normalizing the brains of those who think differently reduce their motivation for great achievement?”—Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain
“John Elder Robison is an extraordinary guide, carefully elucidating the cutting-edge science behind this revolutionary new brain therapy, TMS, alongside the compelling story of the impact it has on his relationships, his thinking and emotions, and indeed his very identity. At the heart of Switched On are fundamental questions of who we are, of where our identity resides, of difference and disability and free will, which are brought into sharp focus by Robison’s lived experience.”—Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Effect
UPDATE: Online ticket sales have now ended. A limited number of tickets are still available at Harvard Book Store or over the phone at 617-661-1515. We will likely sell out soon so get your tickets now!
Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.
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