Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening

Imagine spending the first forty years of your life in darkness, blind to the emotions and social signals of other people. Then imagine that someone suddenly switches the lights on.


Many people are familiar with Augusten Burroughs, but not his brother, John Elder Robison. Robison is also a writer, encouraged by Burroughs to share his experiences with life on the autism spectrum. Robison is funny, insightful, and passionate as he teaches us all that there is a person on the other side of that “walking robot” (as some YouTube commenters described him, UGH).

Robison has a few books, but his newest one, Switched On, describes a brand new trial that he took part in. The medical experiment, called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), looked to help those with autism lead more vivid lives by “rewiring” some of the brain’s networking.

Switched On, released Tuesday, is definitely for brain geeks like me. And I’m doubly glad I read In a Different Key before I got to this one, because there were a bazillion references made in the same books–a lot of the same lingo, a lot of the same people. It’s neat to see how much brain science is changing all the time. What is going to happen next? Let’s keep going!


NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review. Released March 22.



Leave a Reply


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: