WE ARE OUR BRAINS

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We Are Our Brains

Author : D. F. Swaab
ISBN : 9780679644378
Genre : Science
File Size : 83.39 MB
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A vivid account of what makes us human. Based groundbreaking new research, We Are Our Brains is a sweeping biography of the human brain, from infancy to adulthood to old age. Renowned neuroscientist D. F. Swaab takes us on a guided tour of the intricate inner workings that determine our potential, our limitations, and our desires, with each chapter serving as an eye-opening window on a different stage of brain development: the gender differences that develop in the embryonic brain, what goes on in the heads of adolescents, how parenthood permanently changes the brain. Moving beyond pure biological understanding, Swaab presents a controversial and multilayered ethical argument surrounding the brain. Far from possessing true free will, Swaab argues, we have very little control over our everyday decisions, or who we will become, because our brains predetermine everything about us, long before we are born, from our moral character to our religious leanings to whom we fall in love with. And he challenges many of our prevailing assumptions about what makes us human, decoding the intricate “moral networks” that allow us to experience emotion, revealing maternal instinct to be the result of hormonal changes in the pregnant brain, and exploring the way that religious “imprinting” shapes the brain during childhood. Rife with memorable case studies, We Are Our Brains is already a bestselling international phenomenon. It aims to demystify the chemical and genetic workings of our most mysterious organ, in the process helping us to see who we are through an entirely new lens. Did you know? • The father’s brain is affected in pregnancy as well as the mother’s. • The withdrawal symptoms we experience at the end of a love affair mirror chemical addiction. • Growing up bilingual reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. • Parental religion is imprinted on our brains during early development, much as our native language is. Praise for We Are Our Brains “Swaab’s ‘neurobiography’ is witty, opinionated, passionate, and, above all, cerebral.”—Booklist (starred review) “A fascinating survey . . . Swaab employs both personal and scientific observation in near-equal measure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A cogent, provocative account of how twenty-first-century ‘neuroculture’ has the potential to effect profound medical and social change.”—Kirkus Reviews From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Science

We Are Our Brains

Author : Dick Swaab
ISBN : 0141978236
Genre : Science
File Size : 69.48 MB
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Everything we think, do and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. From religion to sexuality, it shapes our potential, our desires and our characters. Taking us through every stage in our lives, from the womb to falling in love to old age, Dick Swaab shows that we don't just have brains: we areour brains. 'A blockbuster about the brain . . . provocative, fascinating, remarkable.' Clive Cookson, Financial Times 'A giant in the field.' Zoe Williams, Guardian 'Engrossing, intriguing and enlightening.' Robin Ince 'Enchantingly written.' The Times Higher Education 'Wide-ranging, fun and informative . . . as an ice-breaker at parties, it is unmatched.'Bryan Appleyard,Sunday Times
Category: Science

Social

Author : Matthew D. Lieberman
ISBN : 9780307889119
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 35.18 MB
Format : PDF
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We are profoundly social creatures--more than we know. In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter. Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world--other people and our relation to them. It is believed that we must commit 10,000 hours to master a skill. According to Lieberman, each of us has spent 10,000 hours learning to make sense of people and groups by the time we are ten. Social argues that our need to reach out to and connect with others is a primary driver behind our behavior. We believe that pain and pleasure alone guide our actions. Yet, new research using fMRI--including a great deal of original research conducted by Lieberman and his UCLA lab--shows that our brains react to social pain and pleasure in much the same way as they do to physical pain and pleasure. Fortunately, the brain has evolved sophisticated mechanisms for securing our place in the social world. We have a unique ability to read other people’s minds, to figure out their hopes, fears, and motivations, allowing us to effectively coordinate our lives with one another. And our most private sense of who we are is intimately linked to the important people and groups in our lives. This wiring often leads us to restrain our selfish impulses for the greater good. These mechanisms lead to behavior that might seem irrational, but is really just the result of our deep social wiring and necessary for our success as a species. Based on the latest cutting edge research, the findings in Social have important real-world implications. Our schools and businesses, for example, attempt to minimalize social distractions. But this is exactly the wrong thing to do to encourage engagement and learning, and literally shuts down the social brain, leaving powerful neuro-cognitive resources untapped. The insights revealed in this pioneering book suggest ways to improve learning in schools, make the workplace more productive, and improve our overall well-being.
Category: Psychology

We Are Our Brains

Author : Dick Swaab
ISBN : 9780241003732
Genre : Science
File Size : 29.78 MB
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Everything we think, do, and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. It shapes our potential, our limitations, and our characters. In other words, we don't just have brains; we are our brains. This forceful conclusion is at the heart of pre-eminent brain researcher Dick Swaab's dutch bestseller. In short, engaging chapters, Swaab explains what is going on in our brains at every stage of life, from the womb to what happens when we fall in love or get Alzheimer's. Provocative, opinionated and utterly convincing, We Are Our Brains illuminates this complex organ's role in shaping every aspect of human existence.
Category: Science

Connectome

Author : Sebastian Seung
ISBN : 9780547508184
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 81.37 MB
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A neuroscientist builds on theories that human identity is defined not by genes but by the unique connections between brain cells, describing his work with leading researchers and what they are learning about personality, intelligence, and mental disorders.
Category: Psychology

States Of Mind

Author : Roberta Conlan
ISBN : 0471399736
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 42.44 MB
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An all-star lineup of scientists takes you to the front lines of brain research. Are we born to be shy? Why do we remember some events so clearly and others not at all? Are creativity and depression somehow linked? Do our dreams really have deeper meanings? Now in paperback, here is a wonderfully accessible introduction to the most important recent findings about how our health, behavior, feelings, and identities are influenced by what goes on inside our brains. In this timely book, eight pioneering researchers offer lively and stimulating discussions on the most exciting discoveries as well as a new way of understanding our emotions, moods, memories, and dreams. Inside, you'll find: * J. ALLAN HOBSON, author of the groundbreaking The Dreaming Brain, leading a tour of dream states and explaining why we dream and what dream studies reveal about our minds * ERIC KANDEL, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine, taking us along the chain of biological events that create long-term memories, revealing how we stand at the brink of helping those who suffer from grave mental and memory disorders * STEVEN HYMAN, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, tracing the links between nature and nurture, particularly in addiction and mental illness, to explain the relationship between inherited tendencies and the impact of life experience * KAY REDFIELD JAMISON, bestselling author of An Unquiet Mind, explaining manic depression, its prevalence among gifted artists, writers, and musicians, and the societal questions raised by trying to eradicate the "depression gene" . . . and much, much more. Whether discussing the brain-body connection, the sources of emotion, or the ethereal world of dreams, States of Mind enables you to share in the very latest explorations into the nature and function of the human mind.
Category: Psychology

We Are More Than Our Brains

Author : Trevor Rollings
ISBN : 1545343772
Genre :
File Size : 20.82 MB
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'We are our brains' is the mantra of neuroscience. 'We are our genes' is the slogan of evolutionary psychology. 'We are our algorithms' is the watchword of the tech giants. These are stories we tell about ourselves. But there is another story: We Are Our Minds. How does this older narrative stand up to the scrutiny of the new sciences of the human brain? And what happens when we turn the tables, putting our minds to neuroscience? 'We Are More Than Our Brains' goes in search of a deeper concept of mind, able to rise to the political, moral and spiritual challenges of the twenty-first century. We need a larger, more nourishing story about who we are and where we are going. We are more than confederations of neurons, genes and algorithms. We are selves, persons and societies with minds of our own.
Category:

What Should We Do With Our Brain

Author : Catherine Malabou
ISBN : 9780823229543
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 28.96 MB
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Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized source of control, has emphasized "plasticity," the quality by which our brains develop and change throughout the course of our lives. Our brains exist as historical products, developing in interaction with themselves and with their surroundings.Hence there is a thin line between the organization of the nervous system and the political and social organization that both conditions and is conditioned by human experience. Looking carefully at contemporary neuroscience, it is hard not to notice that the new way of talking about the brain mirrors the management discourse of the neo-liberal capitalist world in which we now live, with its talk of decentralization, networks, and flexibility. Consciously or unconsciously, science cannot but echo the world in which it takes place.In the neo-liberal world, "plasticity" can be equated with "flexibility"--a term that has become a buzzword in economics and management theory. The plastic brain would thus represent just another style of power, which, although less centralized, is still a means of control. In this book, Catherine Malabou develops a second, more radical meaning for plasticity. Not only does plasticity allow our brains to adapt to existing circumstances, it opens a margin of freedom to intervene, to change those very circumstances. Such an understanding opens up a newly transformative aspect of the neurosciences.In insisting on this proximity between the neurosciences and the social sciences, Malabou applies to the brain Marx's well-known phrase about history: people make their own brains, but they do not know it. This book is a summons to such knowledge.
Category: Philosophy

Touching A Nerve Our Brains Our Selves

Author : Patricia S. Churchland
ISBN : 9780393240634
Genre : Science
File Size : 31.49 MB
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A trailblazing philosopher’s exploration of the latest brain science—and its ethical and practical implications. What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought-provoking narrative—drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences—trailblazing neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland grounds the philosophy of mind in the essential ingredients of biology. She reflects with humor on how she came to harmonize science and philosophy, the mind and the brain, abstract ideals and daily life. Offering lucid explanations of the neural workings that underlie identity, she reveals how the latest research into consciousness, memory, and free will can help us reexamine enduring philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions: What shapes our personalities? How do we account for near-death experiences? How do we make decisions? And why do we feel empathy for others? Recent scientific discoveries also provide insights into a fascinating range of real-world dilemmas—for example, whether an adolescent can be held responsible for his actions and whether a patient in a coma can be considered a self. Churchland appreciates that the brain-based understanding of the mind can unnerve even our greatest thinkers. At a conference she attended, a prominent philosopher cried out, “I hate the brain; I hate the brain!” But as Churchland shows, he need not feel this way. Accepting that our brains are the basis of who we are liberates us from the shackles of superstition. It allows us to take ourselves seriously as a product of evolved mechanisms, past experiences, and social influences. And it gives us hope that we can fix some grievous conditions, and when we cannot, we can at least understand them with compassion.
Category: Science

The Shallows What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains

Author : Nicholas Carr
ISBN : 0393079368
Genre : Science
File Size : 48.6 MB
Format : PDF
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Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
Category: Science