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new book – ‘Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body’ by Jo Marchant

January 19, 2016

Cure

Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant (Crown, 2016)

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

Book description from the publisher:

A rigorous, skeptical, deeply reported look at the new science behind the mind’s surprising ability to heal the body

Have you ever felt a surge of adrenaline after narrowly avoiding an accident? Salivated at the sight (or thought) of a sour lemon? Felt turned on just from hearing your partner’s voice? If so, then you’ve experienced how dramatically the workings of your mind can affect your body.

Yet while we accept that stress or anxiety can damage our health, the idea of “healing thoughts” was long ago hijacked by New Age gurus and spiritual healers. Recently, however, serious scientists from a range of fields have been uncovering evidence that our thoughts, emotions and beliefs can ease pain, heal wounds, fend off infection and heart disease and even slow the progression of AIDS and some cancers.

In Cure, award-winning science writer Jo Marchant travels the world to meet the physicians, patients and researchers on the cutting edge of this new world of medicine. We learn how meditation protects against depression and dementia, how social connections increase life expectancy and how patients who feel cared for recover from surgery faster. We meet Iraq war veterans who are using a virtual arctic world to treat their burns and children whose ADHD is kept under control with half the normal dose of medication. We watch as a transplant patient uses the smell of lavender to calm his hostile immune system and an Olympic runner shaves vital seconds off his time through mind-power alone.

Drawing on the very latest research, Marchant explores the vast potential of the mind’s ability to heal, lays out its limitations and explains how we can make use of the findings in our own lives. With clarity and compassion, Cure points the way towards a system of medicine that treats us not simply as bodies but as human beings.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - mind,new books,psychology

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 – ‘Embodied: The Psychology of Physical Sensation’ by Christopher Eccleston

January 9, 2016

Embodied

Embodied: The Psychology of Physical Sensation by Christopher Eccleston (Oxford University Press, 2016)

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

Book description from the publisher:

Open any general textbook of psychology and the topic of perception will be covered in detail. However much of it will be about the big five senses – the senses we grew up learning about as children: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. The primacy of these sensations in our thinking and learning is reflected in their cultural dominance. The big five dominate across cultures, religions and histories,

‘Embodied’ is about how we experience our bodies and how our bodies experience the world; it is about physical sensation. Uniquely, each chapter focuses on a neglected physical sense – senses that we are only too happy to talk about in everyday life, yet have been neglected from the point of view of serious psychological enquiry. While some have been studied more than others, compared to the big five, the ten bodily senses that form the heart of this book have been neglected for too long. Throughout, we see how these bodily sensations operate within extreme situations and are presented with pathological case studies providing insights into these sensations, their evolutionary purpose, and their physical bases. The sensations discussed include, amongst others, itch, balance, convulsion, balance, and proprioception.

The result is a highly original and accessible exploration of the human body, one accessible to both students and lay readers.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s webpage

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Kindle Daily Deal (Fri. 1/1): $2.99 for ‘The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science’ by Culadasa

January 1, 2016

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new book – ‘The Mechanical Mind: A Philosophical Introduction to Minds, Machines and Mental Representation, 3rd ed.’ by Tim Crane

December 31, 2015

The Mechanical Mind

The Mechanical Mind: A Philosophical Introduction to Minds, Machines and Mental Representation, 3d ed., by Tim Crane (Routledge, 2016)

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

Book description from the publisher:

How can the human mind represent the external world? What is thought, and can it be studied scientifically? Should we think of the mind as a kind of machine? Is the mind a computer? Can a computer think? Tim Crane sets out to answer these questions and more in a lively and straightforward way, presuming no prior knowledge of philosophy or related disciplines.

Since its first publication, The Mechanical Mind has introduced thousands of people to some of the most important ideas in contemporary philosophy of mind. Crane explains the fundamental ideas that cut across philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence and cognitive science: what the mind–body problem is; what a computer is and how it works; what thoughts are and how computers and minds might have them. He examines different theories of the mind from dualist to eliminativist, and questions whether there can be thought without language and whether the mind is subject to the same causal laws as natural phenomena. The result is a fascinating exploration of the theories and arguments surrounding the notions of thought and representation.

This third edition has been fully revised and updated, and includes a wholly new chapter on externalism about mental content and the extended and embodied mind. There is a stronger emphasis on the environmental and bodily context in which thought occurs. Many chapters have been reorganised to make the reader’s passage through the book easier. The book now contains a much more detailed guide to further reading, and the chronology and the glossary of technical terms have also been updated.

The Mechanical Mind is accessible to anyone interested in the mechanisms of our minds, and essential reading for those studying philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, or cognitive psychology.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

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