Adam Zeman is Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at the University of Exeter Medical School, where his research focuses on interactions between epilepsy and memory, and disorders of visual imagination. He was the first to identify and give a name to the hitherto unrecognised condition ‘aphantasia’; the complete inability to form mental images – the absence of a ‘mind’s eye’ – which is now known to affect many thousands of people.
Adam has written previously on the function of the brain in health and disease and on the phenomenon of consciousness itself. A Portrait of the Brain (Yale University Press) examined its processes level by level, from atom to psyche, using a case history drawn from life to illustrate each level. Consciousness – a User’s Guide (also Yale) was described as a ‘wonderfully ambitious and entertaining book’. Adam has always been fascinated by how the brain makes experience possible and in his latest book he focuses specifically on what he identifies as our most distinctively human capacity; Imagination: the Shape of Things Unseen will be published by Bloomsbury.