[ View menu ]

$1.99 kindle (short): ‘Dying: What Happens When We Die?': Selection from ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being’ by Evan Thompson

September 17, 2014

(UK kindle ed.)

Comments (0) - consciousness

new book – ‘Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain’ by Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek

September 15, 2014

Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?

Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain by Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek (Princeton University Press, 2014)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

Even if you’ve never seen a zombie movie or television show, you could identify an undead ghoul if you saw one. With their endless wandering, lumbering gait, insatiable hunger, antisocial behavior, and apparently memory-less existence, zombies are the walking nightmares of our deepest fears. What do these characteristic behaviors reveal about the inner workings of the zombie mind? Could we diagnose zombism as a neurological condition by studying their behavior? In Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?, neuroscientists and zombie enthusiasts Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek apply their neuro-know-how to dissect the puzzle of what has happened to the zombie brain to make the undead act differently than their human prey.

Combining tongue-in-cheek analysis with modern neuroscientific principles, Verstynen and Voytek show how zombism can be understood in terms of current knowledge regarding how the brain works. In each chapter, the authors draw on zombie popular culture and identify a characteristic zombie behavior that can be explained using neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and brain-behavior relationships. Through this exploration they shed light on fundamental neuroscientific questions such as: How does the brain function during sleeping and waking? What neural systems control movement? What is the nature of sensory perception?

Walking an ingenious line between seriousness and satire, Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? leverages the popularity of zombie culture in order to give readers a solid foundation in neuroscience.

Google Books preview:

Comments (0) - cognitive science,new books

new book – ‘Rationality and Reflection: How to Think About What to Think’ by Jonathan L. Kvanvig

September 13, 2014

Rationality and Reflection

Rationality and Reflection: How to Think About What to Think by Jonathan L. Kvanvig (Oxford University Press, 2014)
(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

Jonathan L. Kvanvig presents a conception of rationality which answers to the need arising out of the egocentric predicament concerning what to do and what to believe. He does so in a way that avoids, on the one hand, reducing rationality to the level of beasts, and on the other hand, elevating it so that only the most reflective among us are capable of rational beliefs. Rationality and Reflection sets out a theory of rationality–a theory about how to determine what to think–which defends a significant degree of optionality in the story of what is reasonable for people to think, and thereby provides a framework for explaining what kinds of rational disagreement are possible. The theory is labelled Perspectivalism and it offers a unique account of rationality, one that cuts across the usual distinctions between Foundationalism and Coherentism and between Internalism and Externalism. It also differs significantly from Evidentialism, maintaining that, to the extent that rationality is connected to the notion of evidence, it is a function both of the evidence one has and what one makes of it.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s webpage

Comments (0) - new books

currently $3.89 kindle ebook on Amazon.com – ‘The Mind Within the Brain: How We Make Decisions and How Those Decisions Go Wrong’ by A. David Redish

September 12, 2014

Comments (0) - cognitive science

new book – ‘Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)’ by Christian Rudder

September 10, 2014

Dataclysm

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder (Crown, 2014)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

An audacious, irreverent investigation of human behavior—and a first look at a revolution in the making

Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are.

For centuries, we’ve relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers, and without filters. Data scientists have become the new demographers.

In this daring and original book, Rudder explains how Facebook “likes” can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more interview requests; and why you must have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publicly. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? (Hint: they don’t think about Simon & Garfunkel.) Rudder also traces human migration over time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible.

Visually arresting and full of wit and insight, Dataclysm is a new way of seeing ourselves—a brilliant alchemy, in which math is made human and numbers become the narrative of our time.

See also: Author’s blog

Comments (1) - culture,psychology