Search Results: the-brain-as-a-tool-a-neuroscientist-s-account

The Brain as a Tool

A Neuroscientist's Account

Author: Ray Guillery

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192529544

Category: Medical

Page: 288

View: 9208

There are two distinct views about the functions of our brains and their origins. The standard view, taught in most neuroscience texts, has incoming messages about the world sent to the cerebral cortex, with the cortex then producing an appropriate motor output. The interactive view, largely expressed by philosophers and psychologists, stresses the continuous sensorimotor interactions of the brain with the world. The Brain as a Tool focuses on thalamo-cortical interactions on the basis of the interactive view, exploring the phylogenetically new transthalamic corticocortical pathways of mammals that link a hierarchy of cortical areas to each other and back to the phylogenetically older motor centres for control of action. The book demonstrates how messages in these pathways produce an anticipation of our own actions and perceptions. In relating neural events to conscious processing and our sense of self , Guillery summarizes important evidence which links neuroscience with psychology and philosophy. This book is essential reading for neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists and philosophers. Supplemented with a helpful glossary of neural terms and numerous illustrations of the brain, it is also an important resource for graduate and postdoctoral students interested in the neural bases of a sense of self and of cognitive functions.

Think Smart

A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance

Author: Richard Restak

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101050454

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 2116

A leading neuroscientist and New York Times-bestselling author of Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot distills the research on the brain and serves up practical, surprising, and illuminating recommendations for warding off neurological decline, cognitive function, and encouraging smarter thinking day to day. In Think Smart, the renowned neuropsychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Richard Restak details how each of us can improve and tone our body's most powerful organ: the brain. As a renowned expert on the brain, Restak knows that in the last five years there have been exciting new scientific discoveries about the brain and its performance. So he's asked his colleagues-many of them the world's leading brain scientists and researchers-one important question: What can I do to help my brain work more efficiently? Their surprising-and remarkably feasible-answers are at the heart of Think Smart. Restak combines advice culled from cutting-edge research with brain-tuning exercises to show how individuals of any age can make their brain work more effectively. In the same accessible prose that made Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot a New York Times bestseller, Restak presents a wide array of practical recommendations about a variety of topics, including the crucial role sleep plays in boosting creativity, the importance of honing sensory memory, and the neuron- firing benefits of certain foods. In Think Smart, the "wise, witty, and ethical Restak" (says the Smithsonian Institution) offers readers helpful suggestions for fighting neurological decline that will put every reader on the path to building a healthier, more limber brain.

Philosophy and Neuroscience

A Ruthlessly Reductive Account

Author: J. Bickle

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401002371

Category: Psychology

Page: 235

View: 3186

Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account is the first book-length treatment of philosophical issues and implications in current cellular and molecular neuroscience. John Bickle articulates a philosophical justification for investigating "lower level" neuroscientific research and describes a set of experimental details that have recently yielded the reduction of memory consolidation to the molecular mechanisms of long-term potentiation (LTP). These empirical details suggest answers to recent philosophical disputes over the nature and possibility of psycho-neural scientific reduction, including the multiple realization challenge, mental causation, and relations across explanatory levels. Bickle concludes by examining recent work in cellular neuroscience pertaining to features of conscious experience, including the cellular basis of working memory, the effects of explicit selective attention on single-cell activity in visual cortex, and sensory experiences induced by cortical microstimulation.

Mind Wide Open

Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743258791

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 9762

BRILLIANTLY EXPLORING TODAY'S CUTTING-EDGE BRAIN RESEARCH, MIND WIDE OPEN IS AN UNPRECEDENTED JOURNEY INTO THE ESSENCE OF HUMAN PERSONALITY, ALLOWING READERS TO UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES AND THE PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES AS NEVER BEFORE. Using a mix of experiential reportage, personal storytelling, and fresh scientific discovery, Steven Johnson describes how the brain works -- its chemicals, structures, and subroutines -- and how these systems connect to the day-to-day realities of individual lives. For a hundred years, he says, many of us have assumed that the most powerful route to self-knowledge took the form of lying on a couch, talking about our childhoods. The possibility entertained in this book is that you can follow another path, in which learning about the brain's mechanics can widen one's self-awareness as powerfully as any therapy or meditation or drug. In Mind Wide Open, Johnson embarks on this path as his own test subject, participating in a battery of attention tests, learning to control video games by altering his brain waves, scanning his own brain with a $2 million fMRI machine, all in search of a modern answer to the oldest of questions: who am I? Along the way, Johnson explores how we "read" other people, how the brain processes frightening events (and how we might rid ourselves of the scars those memories leave), what the neurochemistry is behind love and sex, what it means that our brains are teeming with powerful chemicals closely related to recreational drugs, why music moves us to tears, and where our breakthrough ideas come from. Johnson's clear, engaging explanation of the physical functions of the brain reveals not only the broad strokes of our aptitudes and fears, our skills and weaknesses and desires, but also the momentary brain phenomena that a whole human life comprises. Why, when hearing a tale of woe, do we sometimes smile inappropriately, even if we don't want to? Why are some of us so bad at remembering phone numbers but brilliant at recognizing faces? Why does depression make us feel stupid? To read Mind Wide Open is to rethink family histories, individual fates, and the very nature of the self, and to see that brain science is now personally transformative -- a valuable tool for better relationships and better living.

The Psychopath Inside

A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain

Author: James Fallon

Publisher: Current

ISBN: 1617230154

Category: Psychology

Page: 246

View: 6481

A compelling career memoir by an award-winning neuroscientist describes how while studying his own family's brain scans for research he made the disturbing discovery that his own reflected a pattern he recognized from those in the brains of serial killers, a finding that offered new insights into the role of biology in behavior.

A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind

What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves

Author: Robert A. Burton, M.D.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 125002840X

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 5997

What if our soundest, most reasonable judgments are beyond our control? Despite 2500 years of contemplation by the world's greatest minds and the more recent phenomenal advances in basic neuroscience, neither neuroscientists nor philosophers have a decent understanding of what the mind is or how it works. The gap between what the brain does and the mind experiences remains uncharted territory. Nevertheless, with powerful new tools such as the fMRI scan, neuroscience has become the de facto mode of explanation of behavior. Neuroscientists tell us why we prefer Coke to Pepsi, and the media trumpets headlines such as "Possible site of free will found in brain." Or: "Bad behavior down to genes, not poor parenting." Robert Burton believes that while some neuroscience observations are real advances, others are overreaching, unwarranted, wrong-headed, self-serving, or just plain ridiculous, and often with the potential for catastrophic personal and social consequences. In A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind, he brings together clinical observations, practical thought experiments, personal anecdotes, and cutting-edge neuroscience to decipher what neuroscience can tell us – and where it falls woefully short. At the same time, he offers a new vision of how to think about what the mind might be and how it works. A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind is a critical, startling, and expansive journey into the mysteries of the brain and what makes us human.

Mind, Brain, & Education

Neuroscience Implications for the Classroom

Author: David A. Sousa

Publisher: Solution Tree Press

ISBN: 1935542214

Category: Education

Page: 240

View: 9524

Understanding how the brain learns helps teachers do their jobs more effectively. Primary researchers share the latest findings on the learning process and address their implications for educational theory and practice. Explore applications, examples, and suggestions for further thought and research; numerous charts and diagrams; strategies for all subject areas; and new ways of thinking about intelligence, academic ability, and learning disability.

Mind and Brain

A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Author: William R. Uttal

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262298031

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 4683

Cognitive neuroscience explores the relationship between our minds and our brains, most recently by drawing on brain imaging techniques to align neural mechanisms with psychological processes. In Mind and Brain, William Uttal offers a critical review of cognitive neuroscience, examining both its history and modern developments in the field. He pays particular attention to the role of brain imaging--especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)--in studying the mind-brain relationship. He argues that, despite the explosive growth of this new mode of research, there has been more hyperbole than critical analysis of what experimental outcomes really mean. With Mind and Brain, Uttal attempts a synoptic synthesis of this substantial body of scientific literature. Uttal considers psychological and behavioral concerns that can help guide the neuroscientific discussion; work done before the advent of imaging systems; and what brain imaging has brought to recent research. Cognitive neuroscience, Uttal argues, is truly both cognitive and neuroscientific. Both approaches are necessary and neither is sufficient to make sense of the greatest scientific issue of all: how the brain makes the mind.

Tales from Both Sides of the Brain

A Life in Neuroscience

Author: Michael S. Gazzaniga

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062228811

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 7668

Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, gives us an exciting behind-the-scenes look at his seminal work on that unlikely couple, the right and left brain. Foreword by Steven Pinker. In the mid-twentieth century, Michael S. Gazzaniga, “the father of cognitive neuroscience,” was part of a team of pioneering neuroscientists who developed the now foundational split-brain brain theory: the notion that the right and left hemispheres of the brain can act independently from one another and have different strengths. In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms—the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.

Rhythms of the Brain

Author: Gyorgy Buzsaki

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019804125X

Category: Medical

Page: 464

View: 3079

This book provides eloquent support for the idea that spontaneous neuron activity, far from being mere noise, is actually the source of our cognitive abilities. In a sequence of "cycles," György Buzsáki guides the reader from the physics of oscillations through neuronal assembly organization to complex cognitive processing and memory storage. His clear, fluid writing-accessible to any reader with some scientific knowledge-is supplemented by extensive footnotes and references that make it just as gratifying and instructive a read for the specialist. The coherent view of a single author who has been at the forefront of research in this exciting field, this volume is essential reading for anyone interested in our rapidly evolving understanding of the brain.

We Are Our Brains

A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer's

Author: D. F. Swaab

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 0679644377

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 6179

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.

Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time

Author: Dean Buonomano

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393247953

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 2943

A leading neuroscientist embarks on a groundbreaking exploration of how time works inside the brain. In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, brain researcher and best-selling author Dean Buonomano draws on evolutionary biology, physics, and philosophy to present his influential theory of how we tell, and perceive, time. The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological flow and enables “mental time travel”—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. The brain was designed to navigate our continuously changing world by predicting what will happen and when. Buonomano combines neuroscience expertise with a far-ranging, multidisciplinary approach. With engaging style, he illuminates such concepts as consciousness, spacetime, and relativity while addressing profound questions that have long occupied scientists and philosophers alike: What is time? Is our sense of time’s passage an illusion? Does free will exist, or is the future predetermined? In pursuing the answers, Buonomano reveals as much about the fascinating architecture of the human brain as he does about the intricacies of time itself. This virtuosic work of popular science leads to an astonishing realization: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.

Brain, Vision, Memory

Tales in the History of Neuroscience

Author: Charles G. Gross

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262571357

Category: Medical

Page: 255

View: 5365

In these engaging tales describing the growth of knowledgeabout the brain -- from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the Dark Agesand the Renaissance to the present time -- Gross attempts to answer thequestion of how the discipline of neuroscience evolved into its modernincarnation through the twists and turns of history.

Beyond Boundaries

The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines---and How It Will Change Our Lives

Author: Miguel Nicolelis

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781429950794

Category: Psychology

Page: 368

View: 5127

A pioneering neuroscientist shows how the long-sought merger of brains with machines is about to become a paradigm-shifting reality Imagine living in a world where people use their computers, drive their cars, and communicate with one another simply by thinking. In this stunning and inspiring work, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis shares his revolutionary insights into how the brain creates thought and the human sense of self—and how this might be augmented by machines, so that the entire universe will be within our reach. Beyond Boundaries draws on Nicolelis's ground-breaking research with monkeys that he taught to control the movements of a robot located halfway around the globe by using brain signals alone. Nicolelis's work with primates has uncovered a new method for capturing brain function—by recording rich neuronal symphonies rather than the activity of single neurons. His lab is now paving the way for a new treatment for Parkinson's, silk-thin exoskeletons to grant mobility to the paralyzed, and breathtaking leaps in space exploration, global communication, manufacturing, and more. Beyond Boundaries promises to reshape our concept of the technological future, to a world filled with promise and hope.

A Portrait of the Brain

Author: Adam Zeman

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300114164

Category: Medical

Page: 246

View: 4190

Bizarre, perplexing, and moving cases of brain disorder, told by a neurologist with an extraordinary gift for storytelling

A History of the Brain

From Stone Age surgery to modern neuroscience

Author: Andrew P. Wickens

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 1317744837

Category: Psychology

Page: 390

View: 1521

A History of the Brain tells the full story of neuroscience, from antiquity to the present day. It describes how we have come to understand the biological nature of the brain, beginning in prehistoric times, and progressing to the twentieth century with the development of Modern Neuroscience. This is the first time a history of the brain has been written in a narrative way, emphasizing how our understanding of the brain and nervous system has developed over time, with the development of the disciplines of anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, psychology and neurosurgery. The book covers: beliefs about the brain in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome the Medieval period, Renaissance and Enlightenment the nineteenth century the most important advances in the twentieth century and future directions in neuroscience. The discoveries leading to the development of modern neuroscience gave rise to one of the most exciting and fascinating stories in the whole of science. Written for readers with no prior knowledge of the brain or history, the book will delight students, and will also be of great interest to researchers and lecturers with an interest in understanding how we have arrived at our present knowledge of the brain.

The Brain

The Story of You

Author: David Eagleman

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101870540

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 1523

Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human? In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the search for immortality. Strap in for a whistle-stop tour into the inner cosmos. In the infinitely dense tangle of billions of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see in there: you. This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life. (A companion to the six-part PBS series. Color illustrations throughout.)

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human

Author: V. S. Ramachandran

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393340627

Category: Medical

Page: 384

View: 3437

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.

Phi

A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul

Author: Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Pantheon Books

ISBN: 030790721X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 364

View: 7911

An influential neuroscientist presents a narrative exploration of consciousness that covers such topics as the important and less-important regions of the brain, the shifting of consciousness with sleep and the role of awareness in an evolving consciousness. 25,000 first printing.

The Spiritual Brain

A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul

Author: Mario Beauregard,Denyse O'Leary

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780061752759

Category: Religion

Page: 384

View: 9299

Do religious experiences come from God, or are they merely the random firing of neurons in the brain? Drawing on his own research with Carmelite nuns, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard shows that genuine, life-changing spiritual events can be documented. He offers compelling evidence that religious experiences have a nonmaterial origin, making a convincing case for what many in scientific fields are loath to consider—that it is God who creates our spiritual experiences, not the brain. Beauregard and O'Leary explore recent attempts to locate a "God gene" in some of us and claims that our brains are "hardwired" for religion—even the strange case of one neuroscientist who allegedly invented an electromagnetic "God helmet" that could produce a mystical experience in anyone who wore it. The authors argue that these attempts are misguided and narrow-minded, because they reduce spiritual experiences to material phenomena. Many scientists ignore hard evidence that challenges their materialistic prejudice, clinging to the limited view that our experiences are explainable only by material causes, in the obstinate conviction that the physical world is the only reality. But scientific materialism is at a loss to explain irrefutable accounts of mind over matter, of intuition, willpower, and leaps of faith, of the "placebo effect" in medicine, of near-death experiences on the operating table, and of psychic premonitions of a loved one in crisis, to say nothing of the occasional sense of oneness with nature and mystical experiences in meditation or prayer. Traditional science explains away these and other occurrences as delusions or misunderstandings, but by exploring the latest neurological research on phenomena such as these, The Spiritual Brain gets to their real source.

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