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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: 11.54 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.

Phantoms In The Brain

Author: V. S. Ramachandran
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0688172172
Size: 70.86 MB
Format: PDF
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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

Author: V. S. Ramachandran
Publisher: Dutton Adult
ISBN: 9780131486867
Size: 57.21 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

Brain Mind And The Structure Of Reality

Author: Paul L. Nunez
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 019534071X
Size: 62.10 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.

Connectome

Author: Sebastian Seung
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547508174
Size: 61.82 MB
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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

Reductionism In Art And Brain Science

Author: Eric R Kandel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231542089
Size: 31.94 MB
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Can science and art find common ground? Are scientific and artistic quests mutually exclusive? In this new book, neuroscientist Eric Kandel, whose interests span the fields of science and art, explores how reductionism—the distillation of larger scientific or aesthetic concepts into smaller, more tractable ideas—has been used by scientists and artists alike to pursue their respective truths. Their common use of reductionist strategies demonstrates how science can inform the way we experience a work of art and seek to understand its meaning. Kandel draws on his Nobel Prize-winning work studying the neurobiological underpinnings of learning and memory in the humble sea slug, whose simple brain helps illuminate the complex workings of higher animal minds. He extends these findings to the complexities of human perception, which uses bottom-up sensory and top-down cognitive functions to perceive the world and to appreciate and understand works of art. At the heart of this book is an elegant elucidation of the pivotal contribution of reductionism to modern art’s extraordinary evolution and to its role in a monumental shift in artistic perspective. Reductionism was a driving force in the transition from figurative art to the first explorations of abstract art in the works of Turner, Monet, Kandinsky, Schoenberg, and Mondrian. Kandel explains how the New York School of Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Louis, Turrell, and Flavin arrived at their particular forms of abstract expressionism in the postwar era, and concludes with Katz, Warhol, Close, and Sandback, who 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 brings science and art into closer relation.

We Are Our Brains

Author: D. F. Swaab
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0679644377
Size: 77.12 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

The Upright Thinkers

Author: Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345804430
Size: 77.30 MB
Format: PDF
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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 Man Who Wasn T There

Author: Anil Ananthaswamy
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101984325
Size: 69.34 MB
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"Anil Ananthaswamy offers an intimate look at the latest neuroscience of schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and Cotard's syndrome among others to reveal the awesome power of the human sense of self. Extensive in-depth interviews venture into the lives of individuals who offer remarkable, sometimes heartwrenching insights. One man cut off his own leg. Another became one with the universe. Where in the brain, or mind, or body is the self actually located? As Ananthaswamy elegantly reports, neuroscientists themselves now see that the elusive sense of self is both everywhere and nowhere in the brain. The Man Who Wasn't Theretakes readers on an emotional, scientific, and intellectual journey, arriving at a new visceral understanding of something we have wondered about since humans existed."

Making A Good Brain Great

Author: Daniel G. Amen
Publisher: Harmony Books
ISBN: 1400082099
Size: 26.48 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.