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The Tell Tale Brain A Neuroscientist S Quest For What Makes Us Human

Author: V. S. Ramachandran
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393340627
Size: 72.95 MB
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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.

A Brief Tour Of Human Consciousness

Author: V. S. Ramachandran
Publisher: Dutton Adult
ISBN: 9780131486867
Size: 63.94 MB
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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.

Phantoms In The Brain

Author: V. S. Ramachandran
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0688172172
Size: 16.63 MB
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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.

Brain Mind And The Structure Of Reality

Author: Paul L. Nunez
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019534071X
Size: 64.20 MB
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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.

Reductionism In Art And Brain Science

Author: Eric Kandel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231542089
Size: 69.38 MB
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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.

This Is Your Brain On Music

Author: Daniel J. Levitin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101218914
Size: 21.69 MB
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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.

Incognito

Author: David Eagleman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307379788
Size: 14.24 MB
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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.

Struck By Genius

Author: Jason Padgett
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544045602
Size: 50.42 MB
Format: PDF
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After a violent mugging forever altered the way his brain works, the author, the first documented case of acquired savant syndrome with mathematical synesthesia, recounts how he overcame huge setbacks and embraced his unique gifts.

The Upright Thinkers

Author: Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345804430
Size: 19.45 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Your Brain The Missing Manual

Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: "O'Reilly Media, Inc."
ISBN: 0596551827
Size: 44.99 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.