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  • Writer's pictureanwilner

Bret Stetka, MD, and a History of the Human brain

Please join me for this enjoyable 15-minute interview with Bret Stetka, MD, who discusses his new book, “A History of the Human Brain.” Bret has been my editor at for more than a decade. He also freelances as a health and science journalist for Scientific American and NPR. His excellent writing came to the attention of an agent, and the idea for “A History of the Human Brain” was born!

I’ve completed reading his new book, and it’s casual, clear, informative, and fun. Bret covers a few billion years of history in 250 pages with ease.

How, exactly, we came to possess the most advanced biological, cognitive processor on the planet remains something of a mystery. Bret considers the influence of fire, language, socialization, and tools on brain development. Leaning on his experience as a food writer, he explores how various nutrients nourish the brain and their possible role in stimulating brain evolution. The fact that humans can digest a variety of plants and animals may also have played an essential role in our species’ success.

I congratulate Bret on accomplishing such an ambitious project. A History of the Human Brain is available at, the publisher’s website, and on my library page.

For more fascinating interviews, please subscribe to “The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner.” HTTP://

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