Born, for obscure reasons, in Northern Europe, Arne Dietrich gave early promise of being nothing special whatsoever. As a child, he was annoyingly hyperactive and exceptionally stubborn, so some people predicted a career as a clown while others foresaw an early death. To everyone’s intense disbelief, he finished school and left his ancestral home just in time to avoid yet another rainy and overcast summer.

 

After an entirely uneventful time in college, he spent several years globetrotting, climbing little known mountains, and bushwhacking through the jungle; a lifestyle interrupted only by the occasional date and a few phone calls to his mother. During this time, he also embarked on extended do-it-yourself introspective voyages into the hinterland of the mind. On these trips through inner space, he realized that soul searching is too treacherous without a detailed map of neuroland.

 

For equally obscure reasons, he spent his graduate years at the University of Georgia, where he, over a hectic period of a few years, learned the nuts and bolts of neuroscience, including the ‘how to’ of publishing entirely useless stuff about the brain. He surprised his dissertation committee with a thesis that concerned such an opaque topic of neuroscience that no one even bothered to read it. But the committee refused to flunk him in utter fear he wouldn’t leave as promised.

 

Arne Dietrich is now a tour guide into the bizarre world of brain cells and human behavior at, of all places, the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He is still surfing the stream of consciousness every chance he gets. He prefers to work on, and spend his time in, various altered states of consciousness. His favorite one is daydreaming but he also enjoys the exercise-induced state of transient hypofrontality that comes from swimming, biking, running, or hiking for miles on end. His other interests are just as opaque as his work but somewhat more suitable to his restless and obstinate nature.