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This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
Levitin, Daniel J.
In this unprecedented meeting of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music - its performances, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it - and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart, Ella Fitzgerald, and U2 to Schoenbert, Metallica, and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" Levitin reveals: how composers exploit the way our brains make sense of the world; why we emotionally attach to music we listen to as teenagers; why 10,000 hours of practice - not talent - makes virtuosos; how insidious jingles (aka ear worms) get stuck in our heads. Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin argues that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. This Is Your Brain on Music is an ear-opening, mind-blowing investigation into an obsession at the center of human nature.
The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind
Michio Kaku, the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible and Physics of the Future tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain. The Future of the Mind brings a topic that once belonged solely to the province of science fiction into a startling new reality. This scientific tour de force unveils the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world--all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics--including recent experiments in telepathy, mind control, avatars, telekinesis, and recording memories and dreams. The Future of the Mind is an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience. Dr. Kaku looks toward the day when we may achieve the ability to upload the human brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; project thoughts and emotions around the world on a brain-net; take a "smart pill" to enhance cognition; send our consciousness across the universe; and push the very limits of immortality.
The Male Brain
From the author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller The Female Brain, here is the eagerly awaited follow-up book that demystifies the puzzling male brain. Dr. Louann Brizendine, the founder of the first clinic in the country to study gender differences in brain, behavior, and hormones, turns her attention to the male brain, showing how, through every phase of life, the "male reality" is fundamentally different from the female one. Exploring the latest breakthroughs in male psychology and neurology with her trademark accessibility and candor, she reveals that the male brain: *is a lean, mean, problem-solving machine. Faced with a personal problem, a man will use his analytical brain structures, not his emotional ones, to find a solution. *thrives under competition, instinctively plays rough and is obsessed with rank and hierarchy. *has an area for sexual pursuit that is 2.5 times larger than the female brain, consuming him with sexual fantasies about female body parts. *experiences such a massive increase in testosterone at puberty that he perceive others' faces to be more aggressive. The Male Brain finally overturns the stereotypes. Impeccably researched and at the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, this is a book that every man, and especially every woman bedeviled by a man, will need to own.
A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
The true story of how a renowned writer’s struggle with mood storms led her to try a remedy as drastic as it is forbidden: microdoses of LSD. Her revealing, fascinating journey provides a window into one family and the complex world of a once-infamous drug seen through new eyes.
Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character
In this strikingly original and groundbreaking book, Dr. Shay examines the psychological devastation of war by comparing the soldiers of Homer's Iliad with Vietnam veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the Iliad was written twenty-seven centuries ago it has much to teach about combat trauma, as do the more recent , compelling voices and experiences of Vietnam vets.
Phantoms in the Brain
What would you say about a woman who, despite stroke-induced paralysis crippling the entire left side of her body, insists that she is whole and strong - who even sees her left hand reach out to grasp objects? Freud called it "denial"; neurologists call it "anosognosia." However it may be labeled, this phenomenon and others like it allow us peeks into other mental worlds and afford us considerable insight into our own. Whether you're curious about the workings of the brain, interested in alternatives to expensive, high-tech science (much of Ramachandran's research is done with materials found around the home), or simply want a fresh perspective on the nature of human consciousness, you'll find satisfaction with Phantoms in the Brain.
It was in his book "Awakenings" that Oliver Sacks first demonstrated his gifts as "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century" (The New York Times Book Review). "Awakenings" is the remarkable account of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen in a decades-long sleep, these men and women were given up as hopeless until Dr. Sacks gave them the then new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, "awakening" effect. Dr. Sacks presents the moving case histories of these individuals, the stories of their lives, and the extraordinary transformation they underwent with his treatment. This definitive edition, which includes an essay on the making of the film of "Awakenings," is a passionate exploration of "the most general questions of health, disease, suffering, care, and the human condition."
A General Theory of Love
Drawing comparisons to the most eloquent science writing of our day, three eminent psychiatrists tackle the difficult task of reconciling what artists and thinkers have known for thousands of years about the human heart with what has only recently been learned about the human brain. The result is an original, lucid, at times moving account of the complexities of love and its essential role in human well-being. The authors draw on the latest research to demonstrate that our nervous systems are not self-contained: from earliest childhood, our brains actually link with those of the people close to us, in a silent rhythm that alters the very structure of our brains, establishes life-long emotional patterns, and makes us, in large part, who we are. Explaining how relationships function, how parents shape their child's developing self, and how our society dangerously flouts essential emotional laws, this is a work of rare passion and eloquence that will forever change the way you think about human intimacy.
The ADHD Advantage: What You Thought Was a Diagnosis May Be Your Greatest Strength
The New York Times-bestselling author of Better Than Normal, esteemed psychiatrist Dale Archer, M.D., reveals how ADHD might be the key to your success. For decades, in the United States and in countries around the world, physicians delivered the diagnosis of ADHD to patients as bad news and warned them about a lifelong struggle of managing symptoms. But The ADHD Advantage explodes this outlook, arguing that some of the most highly successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and entertainers have reached the pinnacle of success not in spite of their ADHD but because of it. People with ADHD are restless, endlessly curious, often adventurous, willing to take smart risks, and unusually resilient, and their ranks include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time. Sharing the stories of highly successful people with ADHD, Archer offers a vitally important and inspiring new way to recognize ADHD traits in oneself or in one's loved ones and then leverage them to great advantage. Readers will learn to harness mental energy for greater creativity, embrace multitasking, and build a path to great success--without medication. As someone who not only has ADHD himself but has never used medication to treat it, Dr. Archer understands the condition from a unique professional and personal standpoint. Armed with new science and research, and his own personal experience, he teaches readers to embrace their natural strengths and innate potential.
After Feeding the Hungry Heart and Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating, Roth offers a workbook that will enable readers to explore for themselves the issues that lead to compulsive eating.
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
In this masterful work, Beth Macy takes us into the epicenter of America's twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. From distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs; from disparate cities to once-idyllic farm towns; it's a heartbreaking trajectory that illustrates how this national crisis has persisted for so long and become so firmly entrenched.Beginning with a single dealer who lands in a small Virginia town and sets about turning high school football stars into heroin overdose statistics, Macy endeavors to answer a grieving mother's question - why her only son died - and comes away with a harrowing story of greed and need. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy parses how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm. In some of the same distressed communities featured in her bestselling book Factory Man, the unemployed use painkillers both to numb the pain of joblessness and pay their bills, while privileged teens trade pills in cul-de-sacs, and even high school standouts fall prey to prostitution, jail, and death.Through unsparing, yet deeply human portraits of the families and first responders struggling to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of the crisis comes into focus. In these politically fragmented times, Beth Macy shows, astonishingly, that the only thing that unites Americans across geographic and class lines is opioid drug abuse. But in a country unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Macy still finds reason to hope - and signs of the spirit and tenacity necessary in those facing addiction to build a better future for themselves and their families.
The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves
Kandel, Eric R.
A Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist’s probing investigation of what brain disorders can tell us about human nature.Eric R. Kandel, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational research into memory storage in the brain, is one of the pioneers of modern brain science. His work continues to shape our understanding of how learning and memory work and to break down age-old barriers between the sciences and the arts.In his seminal new book, The Disordered Mind, Kandel draws on a lifetime of pathbreaking research and the work of many other leading neuroscientists to take us on an unusual tour of the brain. He confronts one of the most difficult questions we face: How does our mind, our individual sense of self, emerge from the physical matter of the brain? The brain’s 86 billion neurons communicate with one another through very precise connections. But sometimes those connections are disrupted. The brain processes that give rise to our mind can become disordered, resulting in diseases such as autism, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disruptions bring great suffering, they can also reveal the mysteries of how the brain produces our most fundamental experiences and capabilities?the very nature of what it means to be human. Studies of autism illuminate the neurological foundations of our social instincts; research into depression offers important insights on emotions and the integrity of the self; and paradigm-shifting work on addiction has led to a new understanding of the relationship between pleasure and willpower.By studying disruptions to typical brain functioning and exploring their potential treatments, we will deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behavior, memory, and creativity. Only then can we grapple with the big question of how billions of neurons generate consciousness itself.
Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil
A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society--and especially parents--to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others' actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.
How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist
God is great—for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Based on new evidence culled from brain-scan studies, a wide-reaching survey of people’s religious and spiritual experiences, and the authors’ analyses of adult drawings of God, neuroscientist Andrew Newberg and therapist Mark Robert Waldman offer the following breakthrough discoveries: • Not only do prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress, but just twelve minutes of meditation per day may slow down the aging process. • Contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion, and love. • Fundamentalism, in and of itself, can be personally beneficial, but the prejudice generated by extreme beliefs can permanently damage your brain. • Intense prayer and meditation permanently change numerous structures and functions in the brain, altering your values and the way you perceive reality. Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for readers to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brainis a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.
Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain
A tour through the groundbreaking science behind the enigmatic, but crucial, brain developments of adolescence and how those translate into teenage behavior.The brain creates every feeling, emotion, and desire we experience, and stores every one of our memories. And yet, until very recently, scientists believed our brains were fully developed from childhood on. Now, thanks to imaging technology that enables us to look inside the living human brain at all ages, we know that this isn't so. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, one of the world's leading researchers into adolescent neurology, explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers--namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence--with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.Drawing from cutting-edge research, including her own, Blakemore shows:• How an adolescent brain differs from those of children and adults• Why problem-free kids can turn into challenging teens• What drives the excessive risk-taking and all-consuming relationships common among teenagers• And why many mental illnesses--depression, addiction, schizophrenia--present during these formative yearsBlakemore's discoveries have transformed our understanding of the teenage mind, with consequences for law, education policy and practice, and, most of all, parents.
The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others
A cutting-edge, research-based inquiry into how we influence those around us and how understanding the brain can help us change minds for the better.In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist Tali Sharot takes us on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence. We all have a duty to affect others - from the classroom to the boardroom to social media. But how skilled are we at this role, and can we become better? It turns out that many of our instincts - from relying on facts and figures to shape opinions, to insisting others are wrong or attempting to exert control - are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how people’s minds operate. Sharot shows us how to avoid these pitfalls, and how an attempt to change beliefs and actions is successful when it is well-matched with the core elements that govern the human brain.Sharot reveals the critical role of emotion in influence, the weakness of data and the power of curiosity. Relying on the latest research in neuroscience, behavioral economics and psychology, the book provides fascinating insight into the complex power of influence, good and bad.
Where do the roots of addictive behavior lie - in our genes or in our environment, in our chemistry or in our character? In the Craving Brain, Dr. Ronald Ruden asserts that the roots of addiction most definitely do not lie in our character. Rather, they lie in a complex chain reaction that originates in an ancient survival mechanism in the brain. When this system is inappropriately activated, it drives the body to crave, sometimes with addictive behavior as the end result. In clear, straightforward language, Dr. Ruden outlines his remarkable successful treatment program which he believes can cure this problem.
Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain
In this fascinating and far-reaching book, "Newsweek "science writer Sharon Begley reports on how cutting-edge science and the ancient wisdom of Buddhism have come together to reveal that, contrary to popular belief, we have the power to literally change our brains by changing our minds. Recent pioneering experiments in neuroplasticity - the ability of the brain to change in response to experience - reveal that the brain is capable of altering its structure and function, and even of generating new neurons, a power we retain well into old age. The brain can adapt, heal, renew itself after trauma, compensate for disabilities, rewire itself to overcome dyslexia, and break cycles of depression and OCD. And as scientists are learning from studies performed on Buddhist monks, it is not only the outside world that can change the brain, so can the mind and, in particular, focused attention through the classic Buddhist practice of mindfulness. With her gift for making science accessible, meaningful, and compelling, Sharon Begley illuminates a profound shift in our understanding of how the brain and the mind interact and takes us to the leading edge of a revolution in what it means to be human.
Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger's and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers
Robinson, John Elder
In his bestselling memoir, Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robison described growing up with Asperger's syndrome at a time when the diagnosis didn't exist. He was intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with toy makers and rock bands but did little to endear him to authority figures and classmates, who were put off by his inclination to blurt out non sequiturs and avoid eye contact. By the time he was diagnosed at age forty, John had already developed a myriad of coping strategies that helped him achieve a seemingly normal, even highly successful, life. In Be Different, Robison shares a new batch of endearing stories about his childhood, adolescence, and young adult years, giving the reader a rare window into the Aspergian mind. In each story, he offers practical advice - for Aspergians and indeed for anyone who feels different - on how to improve the weak communication and social skills that keep so many people from taking full advantage of their often remarkable gifts.
Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind
Imagine a village where everyone "speaks" sign language. Just such a village -- an isolated Bedouin community in Israel with an unusually high rate of deafness -- is at the heart of Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind. There, an indigenous sign language has sprung up, used by deaf and hearing villagers alike. It is a language no outsider has been able to decode, until now. A New York Times reporter trained as a linguist, Margalit Fox is the only Western journalist to have set foot in this remarkable village. In Talking Hands, she follows an international team of scientists that is unraveling this mysterious language. Because the sign language of the village has arisen completely on its own, outside the influence of any other language, it is a living demonstration of the "language instinct," man's inborn capacity to create language. If the researchers can decode this language, they will have helped isolate ingredients essential to all human language, signed and spoken. But as Talking Hands grippingly shows, their work in the village is also a race against time, because the unique language of the village may already be endangered. Talking Hands offers a fascinating introduction to the signed languages of the world -- languages as beautiful, vital and emphatically human as any other -- explaining why they are now furnishing cognitive scientists with long-sought keys to understanding how language works in the mind. Written in lyrical, accessible prose, Talking Hands will captivate anyone interested in language, the human mind and journeys to exotic places.
Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts
How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries.A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness.
The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat
From an obesity and neuroscience researcher with a knack for engaging, humorous storytelling, The Hungry Brain uses cutting-edge science to answer the questions: why do we overeat, and what can we do about it?No one wants to overeat. And certainly no one wants to overeat for years, become overweight, and end up with a high risk of diabetes or heart disease--yet two thirds of Americans do precisely that. Even though we know better, we often eat too much. Why does our behavior betray our own intentions to be lean and healthy? The problem, argues obesity and neuroscience researcher Stephan J. Guyenet, is not necessarily a lack of willpower or an incorrect understanding of what to eat. Rather, our appetites and food choices are led astray by ancient, instinctive brain circuits that play by the rules of a survival game that no longer exists. And these circuits don’t care about how you look in a bathing suit next summer.To make the case, The Hungry Brain takes readers on an eye-opening journey through cutting-edge neuroscience that has never before been available to a general audience. The Hungry Brain delivers profound insights into why the brain undermines our weight goals and transforms these insights into practical guidelines for eating well and staying slim. Along the way, it explores how the human brain works, revealing how this mysterious organ makes us who we are.
The Compass of Pleasure
Lindoen, David J.
From the New York Times bestselling author comes a "hugely entertaining" (NPR.org) look at vice and virtue through cutting-edge science As he did in his award-winning book The Accidental Mind, David J. Linden--highly regarded neuroscientist, professor, and writer--weaves empirical science with entertaining anecdotes to explain how the gamut of behaviors that give us a buzz actually operates. The Compass of Pleasure makes clear why drugs like nicotine and heroin are addictive while LSD is not, how fast food restaurants ensure that diners will eat more, why some people cannot resist the appeal of a new sexual encounter, and much more. Provocative and illuminating, this is a radically new and thorough look at the desires that define us.
Unthinkable: An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains
Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotion, navigate, empathise and understand the world around us, but how would our lives change if these abilities were dramatically enhanced – or disappeared overnight?Helen Thomson has spent years travelling the world, tracking down incredibly rare brain disorders. In Unthinkable she tells the stories of nine extraordinary people she encountered along the way. From the man who thinks he's a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them to a woman who hears music that’s not there, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways.Story by remarkable story, Unthinkable takes us on an unforgettable journey through the human brain. Discover how to forge memories that never disappear, how to grow an alien limb and how to make better decisions. Learn how to hallucinate and how to make yourself happier in a split second. Find out how to avoid getting lost, how to see more of your reality, even how exactly you can confirm you are alive. Think the unthinkable.
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