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The Brain Supremacy

Author: Kathleen Taylor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199683859
Size: 67.28 MB
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In a world full of science, the balance of power between sciences is changing. Advances in physics, chemistry, and other natural sciences have given us extraordinary control over our world. Now the younger sciences of brain and mind are applying the scientific method not only to our environments, but to us. In recent years funding and effort poured into brain research. We are entering the era of the brain supremacy. What will the new science mean for us, as individuals, consumers, parents and citizens? Should we be excited, or alarmed, by the remarkable promises we read about in the media - promises of drugs that can boost our brain power, ever more subtle marketing techniques, even machines that can read minds? What is the neuroscience behind these claims, and how do scientists look inside living human brains to get their astonishing results? The Brain Supremacy is a lucid and rational guide to this exciting new world. Using recent examples from the scientific literature and the media, it explores the science behind the hype, revealing how techniques like fMRI actually work and what claims about using them for mindreading really mean. The implications of this amazingly powerful new research are clearly and entertainingly presented. Looking to the future, the book sets current neuroscience in its social and ethical context, as an increasingly important influence on how all of us live our lives.

The Fragile Brain

Author: Kathleen Taylor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191039020
Size: 25.85 MB
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Neurodegenerative diseases, such as a stroke, Alzheimer's and dementia, are now tragically commonplace within the western world. Our brains are a strange and complex organ, and there is much to be discovered about what causes them to fail in such devastating ways. In this book Kathleen Taylor presents the ever-developing research into the cause and cure of these life-changing conditions, focusing on insights arising from the relatively new field of neuroimmunology - the increasing recognition of the important role of the immune system in the brain. Interweaving the latest scientific ideas on neurodegenerative diseases with accounts of the devastation which illnesses affecting the brain can cause to sufferers and to anyone who cares about them, The Fragile Brain is not only an important account of current research in this field, but a very personal study. As instances of dementia rise in our ageing populations, many harbour anxieties concerning the future.This book is about knowing the enemy.

Sex Lies And Brain Scans

Author: Barbara J. Sahakian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191067172
Size: 37.69 MB
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The recent explosion of neuroscience techniques has proved to be game changing in terms of understanding the healthy brain, and in the development of neuropsychiatric treatments. One of the key techniques available to us is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which allows us to examine the human brain non-invasively, and observe brain activity in real time. Through fMRI, we are beginning to build a deeper understanding of our thoughts, motivations, and behaviours. Recent reports that some patients who have all indications of being in a persistent vegetative state actually show conscious awareness, and were able to communicate with researchers, demonstrate perhaps the most remarkable and dramatic use of fMRI. But this is just the most striking of a number of areas in which fMRI is being used to 'read minds', albeit in a very limited way. As neuroscientists unravel the regions of the brain involved in reward and motivation, and in romantic love, we are likely to develop the capacity to influence responses such as love using drugs. fMRI studies have also been used to indicate that many people who would not regard themselves as racist show a racial bias in their emotional responses to faces of another racial group. Meanwhile, the reliability of fMRI as a lie detector in murder cases is being debated - what if the individual simply believes, falsely, that he or she committed a murder? Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans takes readers beyond the media headlines. Barbara J. Sahakian and Julia Gottwald consider what the technique of fMRI entails, and what information it can give us, showing which applications are possible today, and which ones are science fiction. They also consider the important ethical questions these techniques raise. Should individuals applying for jobs as teachers or judges be screened for unconscious racial bias? What if the manipulation of love using 'love potions' was misused for economic or military ends? How far will we allow neuroscience to go? It is time to make up our minds.