101 Theory Drive: A Neuroscientist's Quest for Memory

An obsessive scientist and his eclectic team of researchers race to discover one of the hidden treasures of neurosciencethe physical makeup of memoryand in the process pursue a pharmaceutical wonder drug. Gary Lynch is the real thing, the epitome of the rebel scientist: malnourished, contentious, inspiring, explosive, remarkably ambitious, and consistently brilliant. He is one of the foremost figures of contemporary neuroscience, and his decades-long quest to understand the inner workings of the brain's memory machine has begun to pay off. Award-winning journalist Terry McDermott spent nearly two years observing Lynch at work and now gives us a fascinating and dramatic account of daily life in his labthe highs and lows, the drudgery and eureka moments, the agonizing failures. He provides detailed, lucid explanations of the cutting-edge science that enabled Lynch to reveal the inner workings of the molecular machine that manufactures memory. After establishing the building blocks, Lynch then set his sights on uncovering the complicated structure of memory as it is stored across many neurons. Adding practical significance to his groundbreaking work, Lynch discovered a class of drugs that could fix the memory machine when it breaks, drugs that would enhance brain function during the memory process and that hold out the possibility of cures for a wide range of neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Here is an essential story of science, scientists, and scientific achievementgalvanizing in the telling and thrilling in its far-reaching implications. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews from Goodreads.com

Write a review (you'll need to sign in to your Goodreads account or sign up) (showing 1-10 of 33)
By Peter (Lockport, IL) · ★★★★★ · December 04, 2014
If you are interested in the science of "memory," this is a great book.

Author follows the research of UC Irvine, neuroscientist Gary Lynch for years as his group makes discovery after discovery.

Gary Lynch is an aggressive, arrogant genius.

That is actually common.

When I was at Stanford and Harvard... ...more
By Quinndara (Rathdrum, ID) · ★★★★★ · November 18, 2014
Excellent book by Terry McDermott that details Gary Lynch's lab over the past 30 years toward discovering the physiological basis of memory. I gave it 5 stars because I felt I understood (nearly) every word/description of Lynch's effort to find evidence to prove his ideas about LTP--long term pot... ...more
By Dav (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★★☆ · June 21, 2010
This was a fascinating biography of an unusual scientist, Gary Lynch. I happen to know a few neuroscientists and the most curious things about reading this was how much certain portions of his personality reminded me of them and how none of them had ever heard of him. The latter is odd because if... ...more
By Bookmarks Magazine (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · June 16, 2010
Though 101 Theory Drive covers a significantly different terrain from that in McDermott's 2005 account of the 9/11 hijackers, the critics proclaimed his latest book a riveting "joy ride" (Oregonian)--a rollicking behind-the-scenes tour of modern science, including its egos, contentious debates, f... ...more
By Pierre · ★★★★☆ · December 29, 2014
An edifying glimpse into an important and frustrating branch of biotechnology. I hope this book will inspire more smart people to go into this field so that they can speed things up. Some parts reminded me a bit of https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1... ...more
By Cathy (Visalia, CA) · ★★★☆☆ · May 17, 2010
Interesting book. Accessible for a non-scientist, but not always easy reading: it takes some concentration sometimes to understand the scientific concepts. The "main character" is definitely a character: a sometimes renegade scientist who goes his own way, bound and determined to find something h... ...more
By Andres (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · April 27, 2010
Absolutely engaging book about one scientist's 30 year quest (and counting) to understand how the brain forms memories. This is a great book not only on this particular subject, but a great primer on how scientific discoveries in general are made: step by gradual step. It shows how tedious day to... ...more
By Paul (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★★★ · April 14, 2012
How does memory work? Follow a rock star of sorts in the field. A really fun read that puts you in the middle of Research Laboratory work/life over many years. This book coherently keeps the thread going, never revealing too much, but always peaking the reader's interest. You learn gaining tracti... ...more
By Drew (Austin, TX) · ★★★☆☆ · May 10, 2010
This was great for insights into both neural biology and the structures of memory in mammalian brains, and also into the real-world politics of western science... its strengths and some shockingly petty weaknesses.

If you like your science stories with plenty of vernacular of the Anglo-Saxon varie... ...more
By Sabin (Ploiesti, 30, Romania) · ★★★★☆ · April 16, 2013
The fact that I did not have any knowledge of the biology or chemistry of the brain beyond what I learned in high-school (if that), I found it an interesting and informing book. The book presents neuroscience, its research paradigms and follows the work of Gary Lynch through almost 50 years of re... ...more