The Primordial Emotions: The Dawning of Consciousness

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9780199203147: The Primordial Emotions: The Dawning of Consciousness

This book presents an accessible and groundbreaking new look at the evolution of consciousness. It traces its origins back to early man's primordial emotions--those elicited from basic needs such as hunger and thirst.

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About the Author:


Derek Denton is the world authority on instinctive behaviour regulating apt intake of water and minerals - particularly salt. He was Founding Director of the Howard Florey Institute of Experimental Physiology and Medicine at Melbourne University. His discoveries have been recognized by election to the National Academies of Science of France, Sweden, the United States and Australia and also the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society (London). He was First Vice President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences and was a member of the Lasker Jury for 12 years. His previous books include 'The Hunger for Salt', described by Emeritus Professor John Pappenheimer of Harvard as 'the best example of integrative physiology to come out of the second half of the 20th century' and 'The PInnacle of Life', written for a general audience, and published by Flammarion (Paris), Harper Collins (USA), and Allen & Unwin (Australia).

Review:

`Derek Denton proposes a totally new basis for higher cognitive function in man and animals, and combines this originality with fascinating stories of animal behaviour encountered during his work. The breadth of his scholarship and research is one of the great strengths of this book.'
Denis Noble, Professor of Physiology, University of Oxford

`Where one of the leading biologists of our day (see his 'The Hunger for Salt', Springer Verlag, Berlin/London, 1982) deals with what, so far, has been the purview of philosophers and offers rather compelling proposals as to the origin of consciousness and even better, self-consciousness. A
superb reading experience.'
Roger Guillemin, Nobel Laureate

`A book of exceptional wealth, both deeply meaningful and constantly renewed, a book to read and reflect upon.'
Jean-Pierre Changeux, Pasteur Institute, Paris

`The Primordial Emotions takes the reader on a wide-ranging tour of the animal kingdom to argue that consciousness for the primordial sensations - pain, hunger for air, thirst, and so on - evolved before consciousness for the long-distance sensing modalities - vision, audition, olfaction. This
journey culminates in the author's own experiments to identify the regions of the brain underlying these subjective states by neuroimaging thirsty volunteers. Written in a very accessible and lucid style, the book offers a refreshingly distinct voice in the ongoing scientific exploration of the
ancient mind-body problem.'
Christof Koch, Caltech, USA

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