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Archive for 'cognitive science'

new book – ‘NeuroLogic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Illogical Behavior’ by Eliezer J. Sternberg

January 12, 2016

Neurologic

NeuroLogic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior by Eliezer J. Sternberg (Pantheon, 2016)

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

Book description from the publisher:

A groundbreaking investigation of the brain’s hidden logic behind our strangest behaviors, and of how conscious and unconscious systems interact in order to create our experience and preserve our sense of self.

From bizarre dreams and hallucinations to schizophrenia and multiple personalities, the human brain is responsible for a diverse spectrum of strange thoughts and behaviors. When observed from the outside, these phenomena are often written off as being just “crazy,” but what if they were actually planned and logical?

NeuroLogic explores the brain’s internal system of reasoning, from its unconscious depths to conscious decision making, and illuminates how it explains our most outlandish as well as our most stereotyped behaviors. From sleepwalking murderers, contagious yawning, and the brains of sports fans to false memories, subliminal messages, and the secret of ticklishness, Dr. Eliezer Sternberg shows that there are patterns to the way the brain interprets the world—–patterns that fit the brain’s unique logic. Unraveling these patterns and the various ways they can be disturbed will not only alter our view of mental illness and supernatural experience, but will also shed light on the hidden parts of ourselves.

Google Books preview:

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

new book – ‘Neuro-Philosophy and the Healthy Mind: Learning from the Unwell Brain’ by Georg Northoff

December 19, 2015

Neuro-Philosophy and the Healthy Mind

Neuro-Philosophy and the Healthy Mind: Learning from the Unwell Brain by Georg Northoff (W.W. Norton & Co., 2016)

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

Book description from the publisher:

Applying insights from neuroscience to philosophical questions about the self, consciousness, and the healthy mind.

Can we “see” or “find” consciousness in the brain? How can we create working definitions of consciousness and subjectivity, informed by what contemporary research and technology have taught us about how the brain works? How do neuronal processes in the brain relate to our experience of a personal identity? Where does the brain end and the mind begin?

To explore these and other questions, esteemed philosopher and neuroscientist Georg Northoff turns to examples of unhealthy minds. By investigating consciousness through its absence?in people in vegetative states, for example?we can develop a model for understanding its presence in an active, healthy person. By examining instances of distorted self-recognition in people with psychiatric disorders, like schizophrenia, we can begin to understand how the experience of “self” is established in a stable brain.

Taking an integrative approach to understanding the self, consciousness, and what it means to be mentally healthy, this book brings insights from neuroscience to bear on philosophical questions. Readers will find a science-grounded examination of the human condition with far-reaching implications for psychology, medicine, our daily lives, and beyond.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - cognitive science,consciousness,philosophy of mind

new book – ‘We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time’ by Kara Platoni

December 12, 2015

We Have the Technology

We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time by Kara Platoni (Basic Books, 2015)

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

Book description from the publisher:

How do we know what’s real? That’s not a trick question: sensory science is increasingly finding that we don’t perceive reality: we create it through perception. In We Have the Technology, science writer Kara Platoni guides us through the latest developments in the science of sensory perception.

We Have the Technology introduces us to researchers who are changing the way we experience the world, whether creating scents that stimulate the memories of Alzheimer’s patients, constructing virtual limbs that approximate a sense of touch, or building augmented reality labs that prepare soldiers for the battlefield. These diverse investigations not only explain previously elusive aspects of human experience, but offer tantalizing glimpses into a future when we can expand, control, and enhance our senses as never before.

A fascinating tour of human capability and scientific ingenuity, We Have the Technology offers essential insights into the nature and possibilities of human experience.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - cognitive science,new books

new book – ‘Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists’ by Laura Otis

November 11, 2015

Rethinking Thought

Rethinking Thought: Inside the Minds of Creative Scientists and Artists (Explorations in Narrative Psychology) by Laura Otis (Oxford University Press, 2015)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

Rethinking Thought takes readers into the minds of 30 creative thinkers to show how greatly the experience of thought can vary. It is dedicated to anyone who has ever been told, “You’re not thinking!”, because his or her way of thinking differs so much from a spouse’s, employer’s, or teacher’s. The book focuses on individual experiences with visual mental images and verbal language that are used in planning, problem-solving, reflecting, remembering, and forging new ideas. It approaches the question of what thinking is by analyzing variations in the way thinking feels.

Written by neuroscientist-turned-literary scholar Laura Otis, Rethinking Thought juxtaposes creative thinkers’ insights with recent neuroscientific discoveries about visual mental imagery, verbal language, and thought. Presenting the results of new, interview-based research, it offers verbal portraits of novelist Salman Rushdie, engineer Temple Grandin, American Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and Nobel prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn. It also depicts the unique mental worlds of two award-winning painters, a flamenco dancer, a game designer, a cartoonist, a lawyer-novelist, a theoretical physicist, and a creator of multi-agent software. Treating scientists and artists with equal respect, it creates a dialogue in which neuroscientific findings and the introspections of creative thinkers engage each other as equal partners.

The interviews presented in this book indicate that many creative people enter fields requiring skills that don’t come naturally. Instead, they choose professions that demand the hardest work and the greatest mental growth. Instead of classifying people as “visual” or “verbal,” educators and managers need to consider how thinkers combine visual and verbal skills and how those abilities can be further developed. By showing how greatly individual experiences of thought can vary, this book aims to help readers in all professions better understand and respect the diverse people with whom they work.

Google Books preview:

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

new book (& PBS series) – ‘The Brain: The Story of You’ by David Eagleman

October 13, 2015

The Brain

The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman (Pantheon, 2015)

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

Book description from the publisher:

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.)

Google Books preview:

See also: PBS series info, author’s website

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