On a wintery afternoon over 60 years ago, I was browsing the Baker Library stacks at Dartmouth College and stumbled across a small book with an arresting title: What Is Life? [Schrödinger, E. What is Life? The physical aspect of the living cell and mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1944]. This small volume contained numerous concepts that would transform the future of the biological sciences, giving rise to new fields, dogmas, approaches, and debates. Here, I present the core concepts of Schrödinger’s book, the influence they have had on biology, and the influence they may continue to have on the cognitive neurosciences.

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