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Archive for 'psychology'

new book – ‘Murder in the Courtroom: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Violence’ by Brigitte Vallabhajosula

January 21, 2015

Murder in the Courtroom

Murder in the Courtroom: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Violence by Brigitte Vallabhajosula (Oxford University Press, 2015)


Book description from the publisher:

Answers to many legal questions often depend on our understanding of the relationship between the human brain and behavior. While there is no evidence to suggest that violence is the sole result of cognitive impairment, research does suggest that frontal lobe impairment in particular may contribute to the etiology of violent behavior.

Murder in the Courtroom presents a comprehensive and detailed analysis of issues most relevant to answering questions regarding the link between cognitive functioning and violence. It is the first book to focus exclusively on the etiology and assessment of cognitive impairment in the context of violent behavior and the challenges courts face in determining the reliability of neuroscience evidence; provide objective discussions of currently available neuropsychological tests and neuroimaging techniques, and their strengths and limitations; provide a methodology for the assessment of cognitive dysfunction in the context of violent behavior that is likely to withstand a Daubert challenge; and include detailed discussions of criminal cases to illustrate important points. Clinical and forensic psychologists and psychiatrists, cognitive neuroscientists, and legal professionals will be able to use this book to further their understanding of the relationship between brain function and extreme violence.

Google Books preview:

Comments (0) - cognitive science,new books,psychology

Kindle Daily Deal for Monday, Jan. 5 – $1.99 for ‘The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control’ by Walter Mischel

January 5, 2015

Comments (0) - psychology

new book – ‘The Shape of Thought: How Mental Adaptations Evolve’ by H. Clark Barrett

January 3, 2015

The Shape of Thought

The Shape of Thought: How Mental Adaptations Evolve by H. Clark Barrett (Oxford University Press, 2015)


Book description from the publisher:

The Shape of Thought: How Mental Adaptations Evolve presents a road map for an evolutionary psychology of the twenty-first century. It brings together theory from biology and cognitive science to show how the brain can be composed of specialized adaptations, and yet also an organ of plasticity. Although mental adaptations have typically been seen as monolithic, hard-wired components frozen in the evolutionary past, The Shape of Thought presents a new view of mental adaptations as diverse and variable, with distinct functions and evolutionary histories that shape how they develop, what information they use, and what they do with that information.

The book describes how advances in evolutionary developmental biology can be applied to the brain by focusing on the design of the developmental systems that build it. Crucially, developmental systems can be plastic, designed by the process of natural selection to build adaptive phenotypes using the rich information available in our social and physical environments. This approach bridges the long-standing divide between “nativist” approaches to development, based on innateness, and “empiricist” approaches, based on learning. It shows how a view of humans as a flexible, culturally-dependent species is compatible with a complexly specialized brain, and how the nature of our flexibility can be better understood by confronting the evolved design of the organ on which that flexibility depends.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s webpage

Comments (0) - cognitive science,human evolution,new books,psychology

Kindle Daily Deals for Thurs. Jan 1 – Over 40 Books to Jump-Start New Year’s Resolutions, $2.99 or Less Each

January 1, 2015

Highlights include:

Browse the List

Comments (0) - happiness,psychology

new book – ‘Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions’ by Peter R. Breggin

December 30, 2014

Guilt, Shame and Anxiety

Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions by Peter R. Breggin (Prometheus Books, 2014)

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

Book description from the publisher:

With the first unified theory of guilt, shame, and anxiety, this pioneering psychiatrist and critic of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering from the perspective of biological evolution, child development, and mature adult decision-making. Drawing on evolution, neuroscience, and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Breggin analyzes what he calls our negative legacy emotions—the painful emotional heritage that encumbers all human beings. The author marshals evidence that we evolved as the most violent and yet most empathic creatures on Earth. Evolution dealt with this species-threatening conflict between our violence and our close-knit social life by building guilt, shame, and anxiety into our genes. These inhibiting emotions were needed prehistorically to control our self-assertiveness and aggression within intimate family and clan relationships.

Dr. Breggin shows how guilt, shame, and anxiety eventually became self-defeating and demoralizing legacies from our primitive past that no longer play any useful or positive role in mature adult life. He then guides the reader through the Three Steps to Emotional Freedom, starting with how to identify negative legacy emotions and then how to reject their control over us. Finally, he describes how to triumph over and transcend guilt, shame, and anxiety on the way to greater emotional freedom and a more rational, loving, and productive life.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - human evolution,new books,psychology