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The brain is a unique and enigmatic organ. It cannot be transplanted, and is one of the most complex entities in the known universe. Unusually, this book asks not what our brains do for us, but what we have done to brains, following the long quest to manipulate and decipher this most exceptional of human organs. Brains explores the ways that we have sought to understand and classify the brain over the centuries. It delves into the eerie world of brain collecting: the practice of storing and cataloguing brains -- including those of Albert Einstein, the notorious murderer Edward H Ruloff and pioneering feminist Helen Gardner -- as well as addressing the sinister practices involving brains that took place during the Third Reich period. Lavishly illustrated, the book includes an array of fascinating images -- from Leonardo da Vinci's painstaking drawings of the dissected brain to visceral photography of brain collections and real brains, as well as work from contemporary artists such as Corinne Day and Helen Pynor. This is accompanied by illuminating and accessible commentary from neuroscientist Richard Wingate and art historian Marius Kwint, explaining how humans have imagined, interacted and tried to come to terms with this infinitely mysterious organ.