Scientific American Book of the Brain

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9781585742851: Scientific American Book of the Brain

Presents 26 cutting-edge articles from Scientific American on current brain research, by the biggest names working in the field.

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Review:

What's going on in there? If you want to get the latest in neural and behavioral science, there's no better place to turn than The Scientific American Book of the Brain. Thirty-two heavyweight researchers and science writers contribute thoughtful, often eloquent reviews of their own and others' neuroscience research, aiming to help the intelligent reader quickly grasp the current state of knowledge. Reading Elizabeth Loftus on false memories, Kay Redfield Jamison on manic-depressive illness, and Michael Gazzaniga on recent split-brain research is like attending a series of impressively cogent and engaging lectures, without any note-passing undergraduates to distract you. The articles are mostly from 1998, though a few go as far back as 1991; each represents the best, most current writing on its topic. Of particular interest to those who love a good debate are the side-by-side articles on the biological basis of homosexuality and the inclusion of consciousness within the domain of neurobiology by careful writers on opposing sides of each issue--it's a pleasant reminder that not all arguments need end in nationally televised fistfights. You may want to use The Scientific American Book of the Brain as a reference, but you'll find that the writing is so engrossing that minutes or hours will pass by inefficiently while you browse and take in the world of the brain as we know it. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover:

Arguably one of the most compelling and elusive territories of scientific research is the landscape of the human brain. From current research on the genetics of intelligence to new evidence being discovered in the battle against Parkinson's disease, the implications of the study of the human brain, and the equally fascinating human mind, are immense. The Scientific American Book of the Brain presents twenty-six cutting-edge articles on current brain research, by some of the biggest names working in the field: Is it true that most creative geniuses are plagued by a kind of madness? Kay Redfield Jamison reveals the link between creativity and mood disorders; are the brains of men and women equal in their capacity to learn and excel at cognitive tasks? Doreen Kimura puts forward scientific evidence that suggests men and women not only differ physically but also use different approaches to solve intellectual problems; how reliable is the human mind when it comes to memory? Elizabeth F. Loftus exposes how imagination and the power of suggestion can create "memories" of events that did not actually occur; why are certain children plagued by Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and what is the solution for such children? Russell A. Barkley posits that ADHD may arise when key brain circuits don't develop properly, perhaps because of an altered gene or genes. Introduced by Antonio R. Damasio and including chapters on mapping the brain; reasoning and intelligence; memory and learning; behavior; disease of the brain and disorder of the mind; and consciousness, The Scientific American Book of the Brain is a stimulating examination of today's most important and often controversial topics in brain research. (7 X 91/4, 356 pages, color photos, illustrations, charts, graphs)

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