We know considerably more about the functioning of the brain than we did fifty years ago, but so many of its behaviours remain mysterious.
How can we make sense of spirit possession or the psychology of alien abduction? Or even the effects of sleep deprivation or of being in love.
Antonio Melechi's strikingly original book explores the 'abnormal' functioning of the brain, ranging from the affects of mental illness and depression to drugs, alien abduction, sleepwalking and migraine.
Melechi not only writes beautifully, his range of reference crosses neurology and psychology, anthropology, poetry and the novel, ranging from Freud and William James to Cardinal Newman and William Burroughs.
Some of the 'afflictions' Melechi discusses are familiar to us all, like sleep and love, others - such as Capgras' syndrome (the conviction that all the people around you have been replaced by doubles - are rare and bizarre.
It is endlessly fascinating.