The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human

Author: V. S. Ramachandran

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393340627

Category: Medical

Page: 384

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Ramachandran--the "Marco Polo of neuroscience"--reveals what baffling and extreme case studies can teach us about normal brain function and how it evolved. Among the topics he discusses are synesthesia as a window to creativity and autism as a springboard to understanding self-awareness.

Phantoms in the Brain

Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

Author: V. S. Ramachandran

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0688172172

Category: Medical

Page: 352

View: 8491

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Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran is internationally renowned for uncovering answers to the deep and quirky questions of human nature that few scientists have dared to address. His bold insights about the brain are matched only by the stunning simplicity of his experiments -- using such low-tech tools as cotton swabs, glasses of water and dime-store mirrors. In Phantoms in the Brain, Dr. Ramachandran recounts how his work with patients who have bizarre neurological disorders has shed new light on the deep architecture of the brain, and what these findings tell us about who we are, how we construct our body image, why we laugh or become depressed, why we may believe in God, how we make decisions, deceive ourselves and dream, perhaps even why we're so clever at philosophy, music and art. Some of his most notable cases: A woman paralyzed on the left side of her body who believes she is lifting a tray of drinks with both hands offers a unique opportunity to test Freud's theory of denial. A man who insists he is talking with God challenges us to ask: Could we be "wired" for religious experience? A woman who hallucinates cartoon characters illustrates how, in a sense, we are all hallucinating, all the time. Dr. Ramachandran's inspired medical detective work pushes the boundaries of medicine's last great frontier -- the human mind -- yielding new and provocative insights into the "big questions" about consciousness and the self.

A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness

From Imposter Poodles to Purple Numbers

Author: V. S. Ramachandran

Publisher: Dutton Adult

ISBN: 9780131486867

Category: Psychology

Page: 192

View: 9431

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Offers insights into human consciousness in an entertaining tour of the ultimate frontier - the thoughts in our heads. This text is made up of five investigations of the greatest mysteries of the brain. It shows how amputees feel pain in limbs they no longer have, and walks us through how what we see determines our thoughts.

Making a Good Brain Great

The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving And Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance

Author: Daniel G. Amen

Publisher: Harmony

ISBN: 1400082099

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 313

View: 7505

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The author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life explains how to achieve and maintain optimum mental performance, drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience research to explain how to protect the brain from injury and toxic substances, nourish it with vitamins, give it a mental workout, alleviate stress, and more. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality

Author: Paul L. Nunez

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 019534071X

Category: Medical

Page: 306

View: 2809

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Does the brain create the mind, or is some external entity involved? In addressing this nullhard problemnull of consciousness, we face a central human challenge: what do we really know and how do we know it? Tentative answers in this book follow from a synthesis of profound ideas, borrowed from philosophy, religion, politics, economics, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, and cosmology, the knowledge structures supporting our meager grasps of reality. This search for new links in the web of human knowledge extends in many directions: the nullshadowsnull of our thought processes revealed by brain imagining, brains treated as complex adaptive systems that reveal fractal-like behavior in the brain's nested hierarchy, resonant interactions facilitating functional connections in brain tissue, probability and entropy as measures of human ignorance, fundamental limits on human knowledge, and the central role played by information in both brains and physical systems. In Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality, Paul Nunez discusses the possibility of deep connections between relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and consciousness: all entities involved with fundamental information barriers. Dr Nunez elaborates on possible new links in this nested web of human knowledge that may tell us something new about the nature and origins of consciousness. In the end, does the brain create the mind? Or is the Mind already out there? You decide.

This Is Your Brain on Music

The Science of a Human Obsession

Author: Daniel J. Levitin

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101218914

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 5300

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In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music—its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it—and the human brain. Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he reveals: • How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world • Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre • That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise • How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.

Brainworks

The Mind-bending Science of how You See, what You Think, and who You are

Author: Michael S. Sweeney

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 1426207573

Category: Science

Page: 223

View: 8309

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A companion book to the National Geographic TV series uses brain teasers and optical illusions to shed light on the workings of the amazing human brain.

Incognito

The Secret Lives of the Brain

Author: David Eagleman

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307379788

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 3598

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If the conscious mind—the part you consider to be you—is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing? In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries: Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? Why do you hear your name being mentioned in a conversation that you didn’t think you were listening to? What do Ulysses and the credit crunch have in common? Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant in 1916? Why are people whose names begin with J more likely to marry other people whose names begin with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? And how is it possible to get angry at yourself—who, exactly, is mad at whom? Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence, and visual illusions, Incognito is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions. From the Hardcover edition.

I Wonder

Author: Annaka Harris

Publisher: Four Elephants Press

ISBN: 1940051029

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 32

View: 2840

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“I Wonder offers crucial lessons in emotional intelligence, starting with being secure in the face of uncertainty. Annaka Harris has woven a beautiful tapestry of art, storytelling, and profound wisdom. Any young child – and parent – will benefit from sharing this wondrous book together.”—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence “I Wonder captures the beauty of life and the mystery of our world, sweeping child and adult into a powerful journey of discovery. Magnificent!”—Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of Mindsight and The Whole-Brain Child Eva takes a walk with her mother and encounters a range of mysteries: from gravity, to life cycles, to the vastness of the universe. She learns that it’s okay to say “I don’t know,” and she discovers that there are some things even adults don’t know—mysteries for everyone to wonder about together! I Wonder is a book that celebrates the feelings of awe and curiosity in children, as the foundation for all learning.

Your Brain: The Missing Manual

The Missing Manual

Author: Matthew MacDonald

Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."

ISBN: 0596551827

Category: Medical

Page: 280

View: 8555

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Puzzles and brain twisters to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact are all the rage today. More and more people -- Baby Boomers and information workers in particular -- are becoming concerned about their gray matter's ability to function, and with good reason. As this sensible and entertaining guide points out, your brain is easily your most important possession. It deserves proper upkeep. Your Brain: The Missing Manual is a practical look at how to get the most out of your brain -- not just how the brain works, but how you can use it more effectively. What makes this book different than the average self-help guide is that it's grounded in current neuroscience. You get a quick tour of several aspects of the brain, complete with useful advice about: Brain Food: The right fuel for the brain and how the brain commands hunger (including an explanation of the different chemicals that control appetite and cravings) Sleep: The sleep cycle and circadian rhythm, and how to get a good night's sleep (or do the best you can without it) Memory: Techniques for improving your recall Reason: Learning to defeat common sense; logical fallacies (including tactics for winning arguments); and good reasons for bad prejudices Creativity and Problem-Solving: Brainstorming tips and thinking not outside the box, but about the box -- in other words, find the assumptions that limit your ideas so you can break through them Understanding Other People's Brains: The battle of the sexes and babies developing brains Learn about the built-in circuitry that makes office politics seem like a life-or-death struggle, causes you to toss important facts out of your memory if they're not emotionally charged, and encourages you to eat huge amounts of high-calorie snacks. With Your Brain: The Missing Manual you'll discover that, sometimes, you can learn to compensate for your brain or work around its limitations -- or at least to accept its eccentricities. Exploring your brain is the greatest adventure and biggest mystery you'll ever face. This guide has exactly the advice you need.

Brain Rules

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Large Print 16pt)

Author: John Medina

Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com

ISBN: 1459612434

Category:

Page: 400

View: 4965

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Most of us have no idea what's really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know-like that physical activity boosts your brain power.How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forget-and so important to repeat new information? Is it true that men and women have different brains?In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule-what scientists know for sure about how our brains work-and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.

Connectome

How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

Author: Sebastian Seung

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 0547508174

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 8160

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“Accessible, witty . . . an important new researcher, philosopher and popularizer of brain science . . . on par with cosmology’s Brian Greene and the late Carl Sagan” (The Plain Dealer). One of the Wall Street Journal’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year and a Publishers Weekly “Top Ten in Science” Title Every person is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, that uniqueness resides. Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our character. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: How? Sebastian Seung is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells—our particular wiring. Seung and a dedicated group of researchers are leading the effort to map these connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It’s a monumental effort, but if they succeed, they will uncover the basis of personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and perhaps disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story offering a daring scientific and technological vision for understanding what makes us who we are, as individuals and as a species. “This is complicated stuff, and it is a testament to Dr. Seung’s remarkable clarity of exposition that the reader is swept along with his enthusiasm, as he moves from the basics of neuroscience out to the farthest regions of the hypothetical, sketching out a spectacularly illustrated giant map of the universe of man.” —TheNew York Times “An elegant primer on what’s known about how the brain is organized and how it grows, wires its neurons, perceives its environment, modifies or repairs itself, and stores information. Seung is a clear, lively writer who chooses vivid examples.” —TheWashington Post

The Upright Thinkers

The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

Author: Leonard Mlodinow

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0345804430

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 6810

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Presents a history of science, focusing on its influence in the transition from humanity's primitive beginnings up to the modern day, with profiles of famous scientists responsible for some of the world's greatest scientific discoveries. --Publisher's description.

The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body

Author: Frances Ashcroft

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393089541

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 9772

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“A gem that sparkles.”—William Bynum, Wall Street Journal What happens during a heart attack? Can someone really die of fright? What is death, anyway? How does electroshock treatment affect the brain? What is consciousness? The answers to these questions lie in the electrical signals constantly traveling through our bodies, driving our thoughts, our movements, and even the beating of our hearts. The history of how scientists discovered the role of electricity in the human body is a colorful one, filled with extraordinary personalities, fierce debates, and brilliant experiments. Moreover, present-day research on electricity and ion channels has created one of the most exciting fields in science, shedding light on conditions ranging from diabetes and allergies to cystic fibrosis, migraines, and male infertility. With inimitable wit and a clear, fresh voice, award-winning researcher Frances Ashcroft weaves together compelling real-life stories with the latest scientific findings, giving us a spectacular account of the body electric.

Tales from Both Sides of the Brain

A Life in Neuroscience

Author: Michael S. Gazzaniga

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062228811

Category: Science

Page: 448

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Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, gives us an exciting behind-the-scenes look at his seminal work on that unlikely couple, the right and left brain. Foreword by Steven Pinker. In the mid-twentieth century, Michael S. Gazzaniga, “the father of cognitive neuroscience,” was part of a team of pioneering neuroscientists who developed the now foundational split-brain brain theory: the notion that the right and left hemispheres of the brain can act independently from one another and have different strengths. In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms—the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.

How to Be a Stoic

Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life

Author: Massimo Pigliucci

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465097960

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 2148

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In the tradition of How to Live and How Proust Can Change Your Life, a philosopher asks how ancient Stoicism can help us flourish today Whenever we worry about what to eat, how to love, or simply how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal is more elusive. In How to Be a Stoic, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the best way to attain it. Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that focuses our attention on what is possible and gives us perspective on what is unimportant. By understanding Stoicism, we can learn to answer crucial questions: Should we get married or divorced? How should we handle our money in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis? How can we survive great personal tragedy? Whoever we are, Stoicism has something for us--and How to Be a Stoic is the essential guide.

Reductionism in Art and Brain Science

Bridging the Two Cultures

Author: Eric Kandel

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231542089

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 2653

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Are art and science separated by an unbridgeable divide? Can they find common ground? In this new book, neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel, whose remarkable scientific career and deep interest in art give him a unique perspective, demonstrates how science can inform the way we experience a work of art and seek to understand its meaning. Kandel illustrates how reductionism—the distillation of larger scientific or aesthetic concepts into smaller, more tractable components—has been used by scientists and artists alike to pursue their respective truths. He draws on his Nobel Prize-winning work revealing the neurobiological underpinnings of learning and memory in sea slugs to shed light on the complex workings of the mental processes of higher animals. In Reductionism in Art and Brain Science, Kandel shows how this radically reductionist approach, applied to the most complex puzzle of our time—the brain—has been employed by modern artists who distill their subjective world into color, form, and light. Kandel demonstrates through bottom-up sensory and top-down cognitive functions how science can explore the complexities of human perception and help us to perceive, appreciate, and understand great works of art. At the heart of the book is an elegant elucidation of the contribution of reductionism to the evolution of modern art and its role in a monumental shift in artistic perspective. Reductionism steered the transition from figurative art to the first explorations of abstract art reflected in the works of Turner, Monet, Kandinsky, Schoenberg, and Mondrian. Kandel explains how, in the postwar era, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Louis, Turrell, and Flavin used a reductionist approach to arrive at their abstract expressionism and how Katz, Warhol, Close, and Sandback built upon the advances of the New York School to reimagine figurative and minimal art. Featuring captivating drawings of the brain alongside full-color reproductions of modern art masterpieces, this book draws out the common concerns of science and art and how they illuminate each other.

The Altruistic Brain

How We are Naturally Good

Author: Donald W. Pfaff,Sandra Sherman

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199377464

Category: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS

Page: 295

View: 4028

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"Unlike any other study in its field, The Altruistic Brain synthesizes into one theory the most important research into how and why - by purely physical mechanisms - humans empathize with one another and respond altruistically."--Book jacket.

The Science of Evil

On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty

Author: Simon Baron-Cohen

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465023800

Category: Psychology

Page: 256

View: 5954

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Borderline personality disorder, autism, narcissism, psychosis, Asperger's: All of these syndromes have one thing in common--lack of empathy. In some cases, this absence can be dangerous, but in others it can simply mean a different way of seeing the world. In The Science of Evil Simon Baron-Cohen, an award-winning British researcher who has investigated psychology and autism for decades, develops a new brain-based theory of human cruelty. A true psychologist, however, he examines social and environmental factors that can erode empathy, including neglect and abuse. Based largely on Baron-Cohen's own research, The Science of Evil will change the way we understand and treat human cruelty.

The Mind's Eye

Author: Oliver Sacks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307594556

Category: Psychology

Page: 256

View: 3306

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In The Mind’s Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world. There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and is eventually unable even to recognize everyday objects, and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties. There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and active member of her community, despite the fact that she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence, and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read. And there is Dr. Sacks himself, who tells the story of his own eye cancer and the bizarre and disconcerting effects of losing vision to one side. Sacks explores some very strange paradoxes—people who can see perfectly well but cannot recognize their own children, and blind people who become hyper-visual or who navigate by “tongue vision.” He also considers more fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think? How important is internal imagery—or vision, for that matter? Why is it that, although writing is only five thousand years old, humans have a universal, seemingly innate, potential for reading? The Mind’s Eye is a testament to the complexity of vision and the brain and to the power of creativity and adaptation. And it provides a whole new perspective on the power of language and communication, as we try to imagine what it is to see with another person’s eyes, or another person’s mind. From the Hardcover edition.