Synaptic Self

Author: Joseph LeDoux
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781440650420
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In 1996 Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the world-renowned expert on the brain has produced with a groundbreaking work that tells a more profound story: how the little spaces between the neurons—the brain's synapses—are the channels through which we think, act, imagine, feel, and remember. Synapses encode the essence of personality, enabling each of us to function as a distinctive, integrated individual from moment to moment. Exploring the functioning of memory, the synaptic basis of mental illness and drug addiction, and the mechanism of self-awareness, Synaptic Self is a provocative and mind-expanding work that is destined to become a classic.

We Are Our Brains

Author: D. F. Swaab
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0679644377
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Anxious

Author: Joseph LeDoux
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780747683
Format: PDF
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Anxiety is the most prevalent psychiatric problem of our time. Decades of research have gone into probing its mysteries and developing treatments. But what if we’ve been thinking about fear and anxiety in the wrong way for all these years? This is the groundbreaking premise behind a wave of new research, led by the lab of renowned neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux. He believes that fear and anxiety are not innate states, simply waiting to be unleashed in the brain. Rather they are assembled experiences, and that has huge implications for patients. By mapping brain circuits, LeDoux explains the origins of anxiety disorders and reveals discoveries that can restore sufferers to normality. As impressive as it is timely, Anxious is a comprehensive survey of cutting-edge research revolutionising the way we treat our most pressing mental health issue.

Exploring Consciousness

Author: Rita Carter
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520237377
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The award-winning author probes the nature of consciousness, building on the foundation she laid in her previous book Mapping the Mind to continue to explore this vexing problem of modern science. (Philosophy)

Self Comes to Mind

Author: Antonio Damasio
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 030747495X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A leading neuroscientist addresses key questions about the origins and mechanisms of human consciousness, drawing on decades of research to challenge beliefs about the separateness of consciousness from the body while presenting a revisionist perspective built on traditional approaches. By the author of Descartes' Error. Reprint.

Connectome

Author: Sebastian Seung
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547508174
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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

This Is Your Brain on Music

Author: Daniel J. Levitin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101218914
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

The Emotional Brain

Author: Joseph Ledoux
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439126380
Format: PDF, Docs
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What happens in our brains to make us feel fear, love, hate, anger, joy? Do we control our emotions, or do they control us? Do animals have emotions? How can traumatic experiences in early childhood influence adult behavior, even though we have no conscious memory of them? In The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux investigates the origins of human emotions and explains that many exist as part of complex neural systems that evolved to enable us to survive. One of the principal researchers profiled in Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, LeDoux is a leading authority in the field of neural science. In this provocative book, he explores the brain mechanisms underlying our emotions -- mechanisms that are only now being revealed.

What Should We Do with Our Brain

Author: Catherine Malabou
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 0823229548
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized source of control, has emphasized "plasticity," the quality by which our brains develop and change throughout the course of our lives. Our brains exist as historical products, developing in interaction with themselves and with their surroundings.Hence there is a thin line between the organization of the nervous system and the political and social organization that both conditions and is conditioned by human experience. Looking carefully at contemporary neuroscience, it is hard not to notice that the new way of talking about the brain mirrors the management discourse of the neo-liberal capitalist world in which we now live, with its talk of decentralization, networks, and flexibility. Consciously or unconsciously, science cannot but echo the world in which it takes place.In the neo-liberal world, "plasticity" can be equated with "flexibility"--a term that has become a buzzword in economics and management theory. The plastic brain would thus represent just another style of power, which, although less centralized, is still a means of control. In this book, Catherine Malabou develops a second, more radical meaning for plasticity. Not only does plasticity allow our brains to adapt to existing circumstances, it opens a margin of freedom to intervene, to change those very circumstances. Such an understanding opens up a newly transformative aspect of the neurosciences.In insisting on this proximity between the neurosciences and the social sciences, Malabou applies to the brain Marx's well-known phrase about history: people make their own brains, but they do not know it. This book is a summons to such knowledge.