The Spaces Between Us
A Story of Neuroscience, Evolution, and Human Nature
Reviews and Awards
"The Spaces Between Us is a sparkling example of popular science-writing, mainly on the strength of Graziano's smart but affable teaching ability. The range of his curiosity about everything from the minute discriminations of laughter to the mysteries of the 'hand blink' reflex is inherently inviting, and the result is a book that will have readers questioning their every tiny twitch and shrug." --Open Letters Monthly
"Graziano (Princeton Univ.) has written a brief yet compelling book about the dynamics, experience, and importance of setting personal boundaries or what he refers to as a "second, invisible skin" that separates self from other. The initial chapters describe early scientific observations of personal space related to humans and other animals. Graziano then turns to research by neuroscientists, including himself, who discovered the elegantly simple mechanism in the brain that monitors the sense of personal space to help people avoid danger. These chapters are exceptionally well written; though aimed toward a general readership, they rely heavily on animal and biological science and will likely appeal to a scientifically sophisticated general audience. The later chapters, which should appeal to a broader audience, focus on the most recent scientific insights into these matters with an emphasis on how broadly and profoundly self-defined personal boundaries impact people's lives.
Graziano concludes with a gripping chapter about the painful life tribulations his son has experienced because of a physical disability, dyspraxia, that makes it difficult for him to effectively monitor his and others' sense of personal space." --CHOICE