Beyond the Brain

Author: Louise Barrett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838349
Format: PDF, Docs
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When a chimpanzee stockpiles rocks as weapons or when a frog sends out mating calls, we might easily assume these animals know their own motivations--that they use the same psychological mechanisms that we do. But as Beyond the Brain indicates, this is a dangerous assumption because animals have different evolutionary trajectories, ecological niches, and physical attributes. How do these differences influence animal thinking and behavior? Removing our human-centered spectacles, Louise Barrett investigates the mind and brain and offers an alternative approach for understanding animal and human cognition. Drawing on examples from animal behavior, comparative psychology, robotics, artificial life, developmental psychology, and cognitive science, Barrett provides remarkable new insights into how animals and humans depend on their bodies and environment--not just their brains--to behave intelligently. Barrett begins with an overview of human cognitive adaptations and how these color our views of other species, brains, and minds. Considering when it is worth having a big brain--or indeed having a brain at all--she investigates exactly what brains are good at. Showing that the brain's evolutionary function guides action in the world, she looks at how physical structure contributes to cognitive processes, and she demonstrates how these processes employ materials and resources in specific environments. Arguing that thinking and behavior constitute a property of the whole organism, not just the brain, Beyond the Brain illustrates how the body, brain, and cognition are tied to the wider world.

Beyond the Brain

Author: Louise Barrett
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691165561
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"This book illustrates how the intelligent behaviour of animals doesn't necessarily depend on having a big brain; having the right kind of body and exploiting the right kinds of environmental resources can be equally important"--

Beyond the Brain

Author: Louise Barrett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691126449
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
When a chimpanzee stockpiles rocks as weapons or when a frog sends out mating calls, we might easily assume these animals know their own motivations--that they use the same psychological mechanisms that we do. But as Beyond the Brain indicates, this is a dangerous assumption because animals have different evolutionary trajectories, ecological niches, and physical attributes. How do these differences influence animal thinking and behavior? Removing our human-centered spectacles, Louise Barrett investigates the mind and brain and offers an alternative approach for understanding animal and human cognition. Drawing on examples from animal behavior, comparative psychology, robotics, artificial life, developmental psychology, and cognitive science, Barrett provides remarkable new insights into how animals and humans depend on their bodies and environment--not just their brains--to behave intelligently. Barrett begins with an overview of human cognitive adaptations and how these color our views of other species, brains, and minds. Considering when it is worth having a big brain--or indeed having a brain at all--she investigates exactly what brains are good at. Showing that the brain's evolutionary function guides action in the world, she looks at how physical structure contributes to cognitive processes, and she demonstrates how these processes employ materials and resources in specific environments. Arguing that thinking and behavior constitute a property of the whole organism, not just the brain, Beyond the Brain illustrates how the body, brain, and cognition are tied to the wider world.

Mind in Life

Author: Evan Thompson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674736885
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How is life related to the mind? Thompson explores this so-called explanatory gap between biological life and consciousness, drawing on sources as diverse as molecular biology, evolutionary theory, artificial life, complex systems theory, neuroscience, psychology, Continental Phenomenology, and analytic philosophy. Ultimately he shows that mind and life are more continuous than previously accepted, and that current explanations do not adequately address the myriad facets of the biology and phenomenology of mind.

Can Animals and Machines be Persons

Author: Justin Leiber
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
ISBN: 9780872200029
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Written in a lively and entertaining style, this little book, which deals with topics such as 'personhood,' animal rights, and artificial intelligence . . . makes some rather difficult philosophical points clear in an unpedantic fashion." -- M E Winston, Trenton State College

Louder Than Words

Author: Benjamin K. Bergen
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465028292
Format: PDF, ePub
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Describes how meaning is conveyed and processed in the mind, answering questions about how people can understand information about things they have never seen in person and why they move their hands and arms when they speak.

Communicating Emotion

Author: Sally Planalp
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521557412
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book addresses questions about communication and emotion that are important to everyday life.

Out of Our Heads

Author: Alva Noë
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9781429957199
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Alva Noë is one of a new breed—part philosopher, part cognitive scientist, part neuroscientist—who are radically altering the study of consciousness by asking difficult questions and pointing out obvious flaws in the current science. In Out of Our Heads, he restates and reexamines the problem of consciousness, and then proposes a startling solution: Do away with the two hundred-year-old paradigm that places consciousness within the confines of the brain. Our culture is obsessed with the brain—how it perceives; how it remembers; how it determines our intelligence, our morality, our likes and our dislikes. It's widely believed that consciousness itself, that Holy Grail of science and philosophy, will soon be given a neural explanation. And yet, after decades of research, only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious—how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, and subjectivity—has emerged unchallenged: We don't have a clue. In this inventive work, Noë suggests that rather than being something that happens inside us, consciousness is something we do. Debunking an outmoded philosophy that holds the scientific study of consciousness captive, Out of Our Heads is a fresh attempt at understanding our minds and how we interact with the world around us.

Darwin s Unfinished Symphony

Author: Kevin N. Laland
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069118447X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for culture, from the arts and language to science and technology. But how did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution. This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process. Kevin Laland tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin’s intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.

Human Evolutionary Psychology

Author: Louise Barrett
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691096228
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Why do people resort to plastic surgery to look young? Why are stepchildren at greatest risk of fatal abuse? Why do we prefer gossip to algebra? Why must Dogon wives live alone in a dark hut for five days a month? Why are young children good at learning language but not sharing? Over the past decade, psychologists and behavioral ecologists have been finding answers to such seemingly unrelated questions by applying an evolutionary perspective to the study of human behavior and psychology. Human Evolutionary Psychology is a comprehensive, balanced, and readable introduction to this burgeoning field. It combines a sophisticated understanding of the basics of evolutionary theory with a solid grasp of empirical case studies. Covering not only such traditional subjects as kin selection and mate choice, this text also examines more complex understandings of marriage practices and inheritance rules and the way in which individual action influences the structure of societies and aspects of cultural evolution. It critically assesses the value of evolutionary explanations to humans in both modern Western society and traditional preindustrial societies. And it fairly presents debates within the field, identifying areas of compatibility among sometimes competing approaches. Combining a broad scope with the more in-depth knowledge and sophisticated understanding needed to approach the primary literature, this text is the ideal introduction to the exciting and rapidly expanding study of human evolutionary psychology.