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Supernormal Stimuli How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393077330
Size: 12.69 MB
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A Harvard psychologist explains how our once-helpful instincts get hijacked in our garish modern world. Our instincts—for food, sex, or territorial protection— evolved for life on the savannahs 10,000 years ago, not in today’s world of densely populated cities, technological innovations, and pollution. We now have access to a glut of larger-than-life objects, from candy to pornography to atomic weapons—that gratify these gut instincts with often-dangerous results. Animal biologists coined the term “supernormal stimuli” to describe imitations that appeal to primitive instincts and exert a stronger pull than real things, such as soccer balls that geese prefer over eggs. Evolutionary psychologist Deirdre Barrett applies this concept to the alarming disconnect between human instinct and our created environment, demonstrating how supernormal stimuli are a major cause of today’s most pressing problems, including obesity and war. However, Barrett does more than show how unfettered instincts fuel dangerous excesses. She also reminds us that by exercising self-control we can rein them in, potentially saving ourselves and civilization.

Supernormal Stimuli How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 039306848X
Size: 54.72 MB
Format: PDF
View: 2915
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"A Harvard psychologist explains how modern-world creations that gratify our most primitive instincts--for food, sex and territorial protection--are the cause of today's most pressing problems, in a book that calls for self-control with the aim of saving ourselves and civilization. By the author of Waistland."

Supernormal Stimuli How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
ISBN:
Size: 42.85 MB
Format: PDF
View: 2781
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"A Harvard psychologist explains how modern-world creations that gratify our most primitive instincts--for food, sex and territorial protection--are the cause of today's most pressing problems, in a book that calls for self-control with the aim of saving ourselves and civilization. By the author of Waistland."

Waistland A R Evolutionary View Of Our Weight And Fitness Crisis

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393062163
Size: 25.40 MB
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Presents an evolutionary and scientific perspective on the current obesity epidemic and fitness craze, in a guide that recommends radical dietary changes in order to break food addiction and reprogram the body's natural appetites.

Trauma And Dreams

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674006904
Size: 50.25 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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According to the poet Elias Canetti, "All the things one has forgotten / scream for help in dreams." To the ancient Egyptians they were prophecies, and in world folklore they have often marked visitations from the dead. For Freud they were expressions of "wish fulfillment," and for Jung, symbolic representations of mythical archetypes. Although there is still much disagreement about the significance and function of dreams, they seem to serve as a barometer of current mind and body states. In this volume, Deirdre Barrett brings together the study of dreams and the psychology of trauma. She has called on a distinguished group of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers--among them Rosalind Cartwright, Robert J. Lifton, and Oliver Sacks--to consider how trauma shapes dreaming and what the dreaming mind might reveal about trauma. The book focuses on catastrophic events, such as combat, political torture, natural disasters, and rape. The lasting effects of childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse or severe burns, on personality formation, the nature of memories of early trauma, and the development of defenses related to amnesia and dissociation are all considered. The book also takes up trauma and adult dreams, including Vietnam veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Holocaust survivors and perpetrators, rape victims, and firestorm survivors. Finally, this volume concludes with a look at the potential "traumas of normal life," such as divorce, bereavement, and life-threatening illness, and the role of dreams in working through normal grief and loss. Taken together, these diverse perspectives illuminate the universal and the particular effects of traumatic experience. For physicians and clinicians, determining the etiology of nightmares offers valuable diagnostic and therapeutic insights for individual treatment. This book provides a way of juxtaposing the research in the separate fields of trauma and dreams, and learning from their discoveries.

The Pregnant Man

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN:
Size: 27.99 MB
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Describes seven unusual cases in which hypnosis was used as a treatment, and discusses self-hypnosis, trauma, amnesia, and false memories

The Committee Of Sleep

Author: Deirdre Barrett
Publisher: Crown Pub
ISBN:
Size: 56.52 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Drawing on examples of artists, scientists, writers, and others who have used dreams to solve problems, the author of The Pregnant Man explains how dreams can foster creativity, enhance inspiration, and resolve problems. 15,000 first printing.

The Electric Meme

Author: Robert Aunger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476740569
Size: 56.54 MB
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From biology to culture to the new new economy, the buzzword on everyone's lips is "meme." How do animals learn things? How does human culture evolve? How does viral marketing work? The answer to these disparate questions and even to what is the nature of thought itself is, simply, the meme. For decades researchers have been convinced that memes were The Next Big Thing for the understanding of society and ourselves. But no one has so far been able to define what they are. Until now. Here, for the first time, Robert Aunger outlines what a meme physically is, how memes originated, how they developed, and how they have made our brains into their survival systems. They are thoughts. They are parasites. They are in control. A meme is a distinct pattern of electrical charges in a node in our brains that reproduces a thousand times faster than a bacterium. Memes have found ways to leap from one brain to another. A number of them are being replicated in your brain as you read this paragraph. In 1976 the biologist Richard Dawkins suggested that all animals -- including humans -- are puppets and that genes hold the strings. That is, we are robots serving as life support for the genes that control us. And all they want to do is replicate themselves. But then, we do lots of things that don't seem to help genes replicate. We decide not to have children, we waste our time doing dangerous things like mountain climbing, or boring things like reading, or stupid things like smoking that don't seem to help genes get copied into the next generation. We do all sorts of cultural things for reasons that don't seem to have anything to do with genes. Fashions in sports, books, clothes, ideas, politics, lifestyles come and go and give our lives meaning, so how can we be gene robots? Dawkins recognized that something else was going on. We communicate with one another and we get ideas, and these ideas seem to have a life of their own. Maybe there was something called memes that were like thought genes. Maybe our bodies were gene robots and our minds were meme robots. That would mean that what we think is not the result of our own creativity, but rather the result of the evolutionary flow of memes as they wash through us. What is the biological reality of an idea with a life of its own? What is a thought gene? It's a meme. And no one before Robert Aunger has established what it physically must be. This elegant, paradigm-shifting analysis identifies how memes replicate in our brains, how they evolved, and how they use artifacts like books and photographs and advertisements to get from one brain to another. Destined to inflame arguments about free will, open doors to new ways of sharing our thoughts, and provide a revolutionary explanation of consciousness, The Electric Meme will change the way each of us thinks about our minds, our cultures, and our daily choices.

How Pleasure Works The New Science Of Why We Like What We Like

Author: Paul Bloom
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393077117
Size: 15.32 MB
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“Engaging, evocative. . . . [Bloom] is a supple, clear writer, and his parade of counterintuitive claims about pleasure is beguiling.”—NPR Why is an artistic masterpiece worth millions more than a convincing forgery? Pleasure works in mysterious ways, as Paul Bloom reveals in this investigation of what we desire and why. Drawing on a wealth of surprising studies, Bloom investigates pleasures noble and seamy, lofty and mundane, to reveal that our enjoyment of a given thing is determined not by what we can see and touch but by our beliefs about that thing’s history, origin, and deeper nature.

Consciousness And The Social Brain

Author: Michael S. A. Graziano
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199928657
Size: 45.85 MB
Format: PDF
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What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it? In Consciousness and the Social Brain, Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all. The human brain has evolved a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent. This social machinery has only just begun to be studied in detail. One function of this circuitry is to attribute awareness to others: to compute that person Y is aware of thing X. In Graziano's theory, the machinery that attributes awareness to others also attributes it to oneself. Damage that machinery and you disrupt your own awareness. Graziano discusses the science, the evidence, the philosophy, and the surprising implications of this new theory.