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Cognitive Science

A MIND SO RARE: Evolution of Human Consciousness

A MIND SO RARE: Evolution of Human Consciousness

By: Donald, Merlin
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In this masterful rebuttal to the prevailing neuroscientific arguments that seek to explain away consciousness, Merlin Donald presents a sophisticated conception of a multilayered consciousness drawing much of its power from its cultural matrix (Booklist). Donald makes a persuasive case...for consciousness as the central player in the drama of mind (Peter Dodwell), as he details the forces, both cultural and neuronal, that power our distinctively human modes of awareness. He proposes that the human mind is a hybrid product, interweaving a super-complex form of matter (the brain) with an invisible symbolic web (culture) to form a distributed cognitive network. This hybrid mind, he argues, is our main evolutionary advantage, for it allowed humanity as a species to break free of the limitations of the mammalian brain. Donald transcends the simplistic claims of Evolutionary Psychology, ...offering a true Darwinian perspective on the evolution of consciousness.--Philip Lieberman
ACCIDENTAL MIND: HOW BRAIN EVOLUTION HAS GIVEN US LOVE, MEMORY, DREAMS & GOD

ACCIDENTAL MIND: HOW BRAIN EVOLUTION HAS GIVEN US LOVE, MEMORY, DREAMS & GOD

By: Linden, David J
$23.00
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You've probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain's elegant design in reverent tones.

To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is a paragon of design--and in its place gives us a compelling explanation of how the brain's serendipitous evolution has resulted in nothing short of our humanity. A guide to the strange and often illogical world of neural function, The Accidental Mind shows how the brain is not an optimized, general-purpose problem-solving machine, but rather a weird agglomeration of ad-hoc solutions that have been piled on through millions of years of evolutionary history. Moreover, Linden tells us how the constraints of evolved brain design have ultimately led to almost every transcendent human foible: our long childhoods, our extensive memory capacity, our search for love and long-term relationships, our need to create compelling narrative, and, ultimately, the universal cultural impulse to create both religious and scientific explanations. With forays into evolutionary biology, this analysis of mental function answers some of our most common questions about how we've come to be who we are.

ACTION IN PERCEPTION

ACTION IN PERCEPTION

By: Noe, Alva
$23.00
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Perception is not something that happens to us, or in us, writes Alva Noë. It is something we do. In Action in Perception, Noë argues that perception and perceptual consciousness depend on capacities for action and thought--that perception is a kind of thoughtful activity. Touch, not vision, should be our model for perception. Perception is not a process in the brain, but a kind of skillful activity of the body as a whole. We enact our perceptual experience.

To perceive, according to this enactive approach to perception, is not merely to have sensations; it is to have sensations that we understand. In Action in Perception, Noë investigates the forms this understanding can take. He begins by arguing, on both phenomenological and empirical grounds, that the content of perception is not like the content of a picture; the world is not given to consciousness all at once but is gained gradually by active inquiry and exploration. Noë then argues that perceptual experience acquires content thanks to our possession and exercise of practical bodily knowledge, and examines, among other topics, the problems posed by spatial content and the experience of color. He considers the perspectival aspect of the representational content of experience and assesses the place of thought and understanding in experience. Finally, he explores the implications of the enactive approach for our understanding of the neuroscience of perception.

ALGEBRAIC MIND

ALGEBRAIC MIND

By: Marcus, Gary F
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In The Algebraic Mind, Gary Marcus attempts to integrate two theories about how the mind works, one that says that the mind is a computer-like manipulator of symbols, and another that says that the mind is a large network of neurons working together in parallel. Resisting the conventional wisdom that says that if the mind is a large neural network it cannot simultaneously be a manipulator of symbols, Marcus outlines a variety of ways in which neural systems could be organized so as to manipulate symbols, and he shows why such systems are more likely to provide an adequate substrate for language and cognition than neural systems that are inconsistent with the manipulation of symbols. Concluding with a discussion of how a neurally realized system of symbol-manipulation could have evolved and how such a system could unfold developmentally within the womb, Marcus helps to set the future agenda of cognitive neuroscience.
ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS: The Scientific Search for the Soul

ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS: The Scientific Search for the Soul

By: Crick, Francis
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Traditionally, the human soul is regarded as a nonphysical concept that can only be examined by psychiatrists and theologists. In his new book, "The Astonishing Hypothesis", Nobel Laureate Francis Crick boldly straddles the line between science and spirituality by examining the soul from the standpoint of a modern scientist, basing the soul's existence and function on an in-depth examination of how the human brain "sees".
BEING THERE

BEING THERE

By: Clark, Andy
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Brain, body, and world are united in a complex dance of circular causation and extended computational activity. In Being There, Andy Clark weaves these several threads into a pleasing whole and goes on to address foundational questions concerning the new tools and techniques needed to make sense of the emerging sciences of the embodied mind. Clark brings together ideas and techniques from robotics, neuroscience, infant psychology, and artificial intelligence. He addresses a broad range of adaptive behaviors, from cockroach locomotion to the role of linguistic artifacts in higher-level thought.
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BELIEF INSTINCT: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life

By: Bering, Jesse
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Lively and brilliantly argued, The Belief Instinct explains the psychology behind belief. Drawing on surprising new studies as well as on literature, philosophy, and even pop culture, The Belief Instinct will reward readers with an enlightened understanding of belief as well as the tools to break free of it."
Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

By: Pinker, Steven
$20.00
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"If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this--the most inspiring book I've ever read. --Bill Gates

A provocative history of violence--from the New York Times bestselling author of The Stuff of Thought, The Blank Slate, and Enlightenment Now.

Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world.

BEYOND THE SELF: CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN BUDDHISM AND NEUROSCIENCE

BEYOND THE SELF: CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN BUDDHISM AND NEUROSCIENCE

By: Singer, Wolf
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Converging and diverging views on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, perception, meditation, and other topics.

Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically; it has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation. In this book, Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk trained as a molecular biologist, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist--close friends, continuing an ongoing dialogue--offer their perspectives on the mind, the self, consciousness, the unconscious, free will, epistemology, meditation, and neuroplasticity.

Ricard and Singer's wide-ranging conversation stages an enlightening and engaging encounter between Buddhism's wealth of experiential findings and neuroscience's abundance of experimental results. They discuss, among many other things, the difference between rumination and meditation (rumination is the scourge of meditation, but psychotherapy depends on it); the distinction between pure awareness and its contents; the Buddhist idea (or lack of one) of the unconscious and neuroscience's precise criteria for conscious and unconscious processes; and the commonalities between cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation. Their views diverge (Ricard asserts that the third-person approach will never encounter consciousness as a primary experience) and converge (Singer points out that the neuroscientific understanding of perception as reconstruction is very like the Buddhist all-discriminating wisdom) but both keep their vision trained on understanding fundamental aspects of human life.

BOUNDARIES OF THE MIND

By: Wilson, Robert A
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Where does the mind begin and end? Robert Wilson establishes the foundations for the view that the mind extends beyond the boundary of the individual. He blends traditional philosophical analysis, cognitive science, and the history of psychology and the human sciences. Wilson then develops novel accounts of mental representation and consciousness, discussing a range of other issues, such as nativism and the idea of group minds. Boundaries of the Mind re-evaluates the place of the individual in the cognitive, biological and social sciences (what Wilson calls the fragile sciences) with an emphasis on cognition. The book will appeal to a broad range of professionals and students in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and the history of the behavioral and human sciences. Robert A. Wilson is professor of philosophy at the University of Alberta. He is author or editor of five other books, including the award-winning The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MIT Press, 1999).
BRAIN & CULTURE: NEUROBIOLOGY, IDEOLOGY & SOCIAL CHANGE

BRAIN & CULTURE: NEUROBIOLOGY, IDEOLOGY & SOCIAL CHANGE

By: Wexler, Bruce E
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Research shows that between birth and early adulthood the brain requires sensory stimulation to develop physically. The nature of the stimulation shapes the connections among neurons that create the neuronal networks necessary for thought and behavior. By changing the cultural environment, each generation shapes the brains of the next. By early adulthood, the neuroplasticity of the brain is greatly reduced, and this leads to a fundamental shift in the relationship between the individual and the environment: during the first part of life, the brain and mind shape themselves to the major recurring features of their environment; by early adulthood, the individual attempts to make the environment conform to the established internal structures of the brain and mind. In Brain and Culture, Bruce Wexler explores the social implications of the close and changing neurobiological relationship between the individual and the environment, with particular attention to the difficulties individuals face in adulthood when the environment changes beyond their ability to maintain the fit between existing internal structure and external reality. These difficulties are evident in bereavement, the meeting of different cultures, the experience of immigrants (in which children of immigrant families are more successful than their parents at the necessary internal transformations), and the phenomenon of interethnic violence. Integrating recent neurobiological research with major experimental findings in cognitive and developmental psychology--with illuminating references to psychoanalysis, literature, anthropology, history, and politics--Wexler presents a wealth of detail to support his arguments. The groundbreaking connections he makes allow for reconceptualization of the effect of cultural change on the brain and provide a new biological base from which to consider such social issues as culture wars and ethnic violence.
BRAIN AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

BRAIN AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

By: Thagard, Paul
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How brain science answers the most intriguing questions about the meaning of life

Why is life worth living? What makes actions right or wrong? What is reality and how do we know it? The Brain and the Meaning of Life draws on research in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience to answer some of the most pressing questions about life's nature and value. Paul Thagard argues that evidence requires the abandonment of many traditional ideas about the soul, free will, and immortality, and shows how brain science matters for fundamental issues about reality, morality, and the meaning of life. The ongoing Brain Revolution reveals how love, work, and play provide good reasons for living.

Defending the superiority of evidence-based reasoning over religious faith and philosophical thought experiments, Thagard argues that minds are brains and that reality is what science can discover. Brains come to know reality through a combination of perception and reasoning. Just as important, our brains evaluate aspects of reality through emotions that can produce both good and bad decisions. Our cognitive and emotional abilities allow us to understand reality, decide effectively, act morally, and pursue the vital needs of love, work, and play. Wisdom consists of knowing what matters, why it matters, and how to achieve it.

The Brain and the Meaning of Life shows how brain science helps to answer questions about the nature of mind and reality, while alleviating anxiety about the difficulty of life in a vast universe. The book integrates decades of multidisciplinary research, but its clear explanations and humor make it accessible to the general reader.

BRAIN MYSTERY LIGHT & DARK

BRAIN MYSTERY LIGHT & DARK

By: Don Keyes, Charles
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Brain Mystery Light and Dark examines scientific models of how the brain becomes conscious and argues that the spiritual dimension of life is compatible with the main scientific theories. Keyes shows us that the belief in the unity of mind and brain does not necessarily undermine aesthetic, religious, and ethical beliefs.

BRAIN VISION MEMORY

BRAIN VISION MEMORY

By: Gross, Charles G
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In these engaging tales describing the growth of knowledge about the brain--from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance to the present time--Gross attempts to answer the question of how the discipline of neuroscience evolved into its modern incarnation through the twists and turns of history.

Charles G. Gross is an experimental neuroscientist who specializes in brain mechanisms in vision. He is also fascinated by the history of his field. In these tales describing the growth of knowledge about the brain from the early Egyptians and Greeks to the present time, he attempts to answer the question of how the discipline of neuroscience evolved into its modern incarnation through the twists and turns of history.

The first essay tells the story of the visual cortex, from the first written mention of the brain by the Egyptians, to the philosophical and physiological studies by the Greeks, to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance, and finally, to the modern work of Hubel and Wiesel. The second essay focuses on Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful anatomical work on the brain and the eye: was Leonardo drawing the body observed, the body remembered, the body read about, or his own dissections? The third essay derives from the question of whether there can be a solely theoretical biology or biologist; it highlights the work of Emanuel Swedenborg, the eighteenth-century Swedish mystic who was two hundred years ahead of his time. The fourth essay entails a mystery: how did the largely ignored brain structure called the hippocampus minor come to be, and why was it so important in the controversies that swirled about Darwin's theories? The final essay describes the discovery of the visual functions of the temporal and parietal lobes. The author traces both developments to nineteenth-century observations of the effect of temporal and parietal lesions in monkeys--observations that were forgotten and subsequently rediscovered.

BRAIN'S WAY OF HEALING: REMARKABLE DISCOVERIES AND RECOVERIES FROM THE FRONTIERS OF NEUROPLASTICITY

BRAIN'S WAY OF HEALING: REMARKABLE DISCOVERIES AND RECOVERIES FROM THE FRONTIERS OF NEUROPLASTICITY

By: Doidge, Norman
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The New York Times-bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. Now in an updated and expanded paperback edition.

Winner of the 2015 Gold Nautilus Book Award in Science & Cosmology


In his groundbreaking work The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge introduced readers to neuroplasticity--the brain's ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. Now his revolutionary new book shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. The Brain's Way of Healing describes natural, noninvasive avenues into the brain provided by the energy around us--in light, sound, vibration, and movement--that can awaken the brain's own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated chronic pain; recovered from debilitating strokes, brain injuries, and learning disorders; overcame attention deficit and learning disorders; and found relief from symptoms of autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and cerebral palsy. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia, with simple approaches anyone can use.

For centuries it was believed that the brain's complexity prevented recovery from damage or disease. The Brain's Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain's performance and health.

BRAIN: BIG BANGS, BEHAVIORS, AND BELIEFS

BRAIN: BIG BANGS, BEHAVIORS, AND BELIEFS

By: Tattersall, Ian
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What evolutionary process could have resulted in the unique and amazing human brain? New research by neuroscientists, paleontologists, and others reveals startling answers.

After several million years of jostling for ecological space, only one survivor from a host of hominid species remains standing: us. Human beings are extraordinary creatures, and it is the unprecedented human brain that makes them so. In this delightfully accessible book, the authors present the first full, step-by-step account of the evolution of the brain and nervous system.

Tapping the very latest findings in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall explain how the cognitive gulf that separates us from all other living creatures could have occurred. They discuss the development and uniqueness of human consciousness, how human and nonhuman brains work, the roles of different nerve cells, the importance of memory and language in brain functions, and much more. Our brains, they conclude, are the product of a lengthy and supremely untidy history--an evolutionary process of many zigs and zags--that has accidentally resulted in a splendidly eccentric and creative product.

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BRAINSTORMS: PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS ON MIND AND PSYCHOLOGY

By: Dennett, Daniel C
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An anniversary edition of a classic in cognitive science, with a new introduction by the author.

When Brainstorms was published in 1978, the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science was just emerging. Daniel Dennett was a young scholar who wanted to get philosophers out of their armchairs--and into conversations with psychologists, linguists, computer scientists. This collection of seventeen essays by Dennett offers a comprehensive theory of mind, encompassing traditional issues of consciousness and free will. Using careful arguments and ingenious thought experiments, the author exposes familiar preconceptions and hobbling intuitions. The essays are grouped into four sections: "Intentional Explanation and Attributions of Mentality"; "The Nature of Theory in Psychology"; "Objects of Consciousness and the Nature of Experience"; and "Free Will and Personhood."

This anniversary edition includes a new introduction by Dennett, "Reflections on Brainstorms after Forty Years," in which he recalls the book's original publication by Harry and Betty Stanton of Bradford Books and considers the influence and afterlife of some of the essays. For example, "Mechanism and Responsibility" was Dennett's first articulation of his concept of the intentional stance; "Are Dreams Experiences?" anticipates the major ideas in his 1991 book Consciousness Explained; and "Where Am I?" has been variously represented in a BBC documentary, a student's Javanese shadow puppet play, and a feature-length film made in the Netherlands, Victim of the Brain.

BRAINTRUST: WHAT NEUROSCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT MORALITY

BRAINTRUST: WHAT NEUROSCIENCE TELLS US ABOUT MORALITY

By: Churchland, Patricia S
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What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the neurobiological platform of bonding that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality.


Moral values, Churchland argues, are rooted in a behavior common to all mammals--the caring for offspring. The evolved structure, processes, and chemistry of the brain incline humans to strive not only for self-preservation but for the well-being of allied selves--first offspring, then mates, kin, and so on, in wider and wider caring circles. Separation and exclusion cause pain, and the company of loved ones causes pleasure; responding to feelings of social pain and pleasure, brains adjust their circuitry to local customs. In this way, caring is apportioned, conscience molded, and moral intuitions instilled. A key part of the story is oxytocin, an ancient body-and-brain molecule that, by decreasing the stress response, allows humans to develop the trust in one another necessary for the development of close-knit ties, social institutions, and morality.


A major new account of what really makes us moral, Braintrust challenges us to reconsider the origins of some of our most cherished values.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIND

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MIND

By: Calvin, William H
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This book looks back at the simpler versions of mental life in apes, Neanderthals, and our ancestors, back before our burst of creativity started 50,000 years ago. When you can't think about the future in much detail, you are trapped in a here-and-now existence with no What if? and Why
me? William H. Calvin takes stock of what we have now and then explains why we are nearing a crossroads, where mind shifts gears again.
The mind's big bang came long after our brain size stopped enlarging. Calvin suggests that the development of long sentences--what modern children do in their third year--was the most likely trigger. To keep a half-dozen concepts from blending together like a summer drink, you need some
mental structuring. In saying I think I saw him leave to go home, you are nesting three sentences inside a fourth. We also structure plans, play games with rules, create structured music and chains of logic, and have a fascination with discovering how things hang together. Our long train of
connected thoughts is why our consciousness is so different from what came before.
Where does mind go from here, its powers extended by science-enhanced education but with its slowly evolving gut instincts still firmly anchored in the ice ages? We will likely shift gears again, juggling more concepts and making decisions even faster, imagining courses of action in greater
depth. Ethics are possible only because of a human level of ability to speculate, judge quality, and modify our possible actions accordingly. Though science increasingly serves as our headlights, we are out-driving them, going faster than we can react effectively.
CHANGES OF MIND: A Holonomic Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness

CHANGES OF MIND: A Holonomic Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness

By: Wade, Jenny
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Changes of Mind unites literature from the new physics, brain research, developmental psychology, and mysticism to produce the first comprehensive theory of individual human consciousness. Assuming a new paradigm reality, the author opens and extends the field of developmental psychology in ways that structure, destructure, and then restructure the subjective experience of time, space, subject, and object.

Wade's theory concerns the development of consciousness per se--not merely its derivatives, such as cognition, social development, and affect--and its neurological bases, something no other developmental theory has taken into account. Using data from a wide range of empirical studies and neurological research, Wade shows that awareness considerably predates birth--probably even conception--and lasts after death, supporting the idea that the self exists outside the boundaries of linear time and a physical body. This book represents a major leap forward in psychological theory and a groundbreaking approach to human perception and being in the world.

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CHIMERAS AND CONSCIOUSNESS: Evolution of the Sensory Self

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Scientists elucidate the astounding collective sensory capacity of Earth and its evolution through time.

Chimeras and Consciousness begins the inquiry into the evolution of the collective sensitivities of life. Scientist-scholars from a range of fields--including biochemistry, cell biology, history of science, family therapy, genetics, microbial ecology, and primatology--trace the emergence and evolution of consciousness. Complex behaviors and the social imperatives of bacteria and other life forms during 3,000 million years of Earth history gave rise to mammalian cognition. Awareness and sensation led to astounding activities; millions of species incessantly interacted to form our planet's complex conscious system. Our planetmates, all of them conscious to some degree, were joined only recently by us, the aggressive modern humans.

From social bacteria to urban citizens, all living beings participate in community life. Nested inside families within communities inside ecosystems, each metabolizes, takes in matter, expends energy, and excretes. Each of the members of our own and other species, in groups with incessantly shifting alliances, receives and processes information. Mergers of radically different life forms with myriad purposes--the chimeras of the title--underlie dramatic metamorphosis and other positive evolutionary change. Since early bacteria avoided, produced, and eventually used oxygen, Earth's sensory systems have expanded and complexified. The provocative essays in this book, going far beyond science but undergirded by the finest science, serve to put sensitive, sensible life in its cosmic context.

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

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Empirical and theoretical foundations of a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness.

This book investigates the philosophical, empirical, and theoretical bases on which a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness can be founded. The research questions reviewed include: Does perception occur without awareness? Can the neural bases of perceptual awareness be visualized with brain-imaging methods? What do unilateral neglect and extinction tell us about conscious and unconscious processing? What is the contribution of brainstem nuclei to conscious states? How can we identify mental processes uniquely associated with consciousness? An introductory chapter proposes a theoretical framework for building a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness, and two concluding chapters evaluate the progress made so far.

COGNITIVE THEORY CONSCIOUSNESS

COGNITIVE THEORY CONSCIOUSNESS

By: Baars, Bernard J
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Conscious experience is one of the most difficult and thorny problems in psychological science. Its study has been neglected for many years, either because it was thought to be too difficult, or because the relevant evidence was thought to be poor. Bernard Baars suggests a way to specify empirical constraints on a theory of consciousness by contrasting well-established conscious phenomena - such as stimulus representations known to be attended, perceptual, and informative - with closely comparable unconscious ones - such as stimulus representations known to be preperceptual, unattended, or habituated. Adducing data to show that consciousness is associated with a kind of global workplace in the nervous system, and that several brain structures are known to behave in accordance with his theory, Baars helps to clarify many difficult problems.
COHERENCE IN THOUGHT & ACTION

COHERENCE IN THOUGHT & ACTION

By: Thagard, Paul
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This book is an essay on how people make sense of each other and the world they live in. Making sense is the activity of fitting something puzzling into a coherent pattern of mental representations that include concepts, beliefs, goals, and actions. Paul Thagard proposes a general theory of coherence as the satisfaction of multiple interacting constraints, and discusses the theory's numerous psychological and philosophical applications. Much of human cognition can be understood in terms of coherence as constraint satisfaction, and many of the central problems of philosophy can be given coherence-based solutions. Thagard shows how coherence can help to unify psychology and philosophy, particularly when addressing questions of epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. He also shows how coherence can integrate cognition and emotion.
COMPASSIONATE BRAIN: How Empathy Creates Intelligence

COMPASSIONATE BRAIN: How Empathy Creates Intelligence

By: Hüther, Gerald
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Here is the ultimate explanation of the brain for everyone who thinks: a guide to how the brain works, how our brains came to operate the way they do, and, most important, how to use your precious gray matter to its full capacity.

The brain, according to current research, is not some kind of automatic machine that works independently of its user. In fact, the circuitry of the brain actually changes according to how one uses it. Our brains are continuously developing new capacities and refinements--or losing them, depending upon how we use them. Gerald Hüther takes us on a fascinating tour of the brain's development--from one-celled organisms to worms, moles, apes, and on to us humans--showing how we truly are what we think: our behavior directly affects our brain capacity. And the behavior that promotes the fullest development of the brain is behavior that balances emotion and intellect, dependence and autonomy, openness and focus, and ultimately expresses itself in such virtues as truthfulness, considerateness, sincerity, humility, and love.

Hüther's user's-manual approach is humorous and engaging, with a minimum of technical language, yet the book's message is profound: the fundamental nature of our brains and nervous systems naturally leads to our continued growth in intelligence and humanity.

COMPUTER AND THE BRAIN

COMPUTER AND THE BRAIN

By: Von Neumann, John
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In this classic work, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann, whose many contributions to science, mathematics, and engineering include the basic organizational framework at the heart of today's computers, concludes that the brain operates both digitally and analogically, but also has its own peculiar statistical language.

In his foreword to this new edition, Ray Kurzweil, a futurist famous in part for his own reflections on the relationship between technology and intelligence, places von Neumann's work in a historical context and shows how it remains relevant today.

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CONSCIOUS MIND

By: Torey, Zoltan
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An account of the emergence of the mind: how the brain acquired self-awareness, functional autonomy, the ability to think, and the power of speech.

How did the human mind emerge from the collection of neurons that makes up the brain? How did the brain acquire self-awareness, functional autonomy, language, and the ability to think, to understand itself and the world? In this volume in the Essential Knowledge series, Zoltan Torey offers an accessible and concise description of the evolutionary breakthrough that created the human mind.

Drawing on insights from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and linguistics, Torey reconstructs the sequence of events by which Homo erectus became Homo sapiens. He describes the augmented functioning that underpins the emergent mind--a new ("off-line") internal response system with which the brain accesses itself and then forms a selection mechanism for mentally generated behavior options. This functional breakthrough, Torey argues, explains how the animal brain's "awareness" became self-accessible and reflective--that is, how the human brain acquired a conscious mind. Consciousness, unlike animal awareness, is not a unitary phenomenon but a composite process. Torey's account shows how protolanguage evolved into language, how a brain subsystem for the emergent mind was built, and why these developments are opaque to introspection. We experience the brain's functional autonomy, he argues, as free will.

Torey proposes that once life began, consciousness had to emerge--because consciousness is the informational source of the brain's behavioral response. Consciousness, he argues, is not a newly acquired "quality," "cosmic principle," "circuitry arrangement," or "epiphenomenon," as others have argued, but an indispensable working component of the living system's manner of functioning.

CONSCIOUS MIND

CONSCIOUS MIND

By: Chalmers, David J
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What is consciousness? How do physical processes in the brain give rise to the self-aware mind and to feelings as profoundly varied as love or hate, aesthetic pleasure or spiritual yearning? These questions today are among the most hotly debated issues among scientists and philosophers, and we have seen in recent years superb volumes by such eminent figures as Francis Crick, Daniel C. Dennett, Gerald Edelman, and Roger Penrose, all firing volleys in what has come to be called the consciousness wars. Now, in The Conscious Mind, philosopher David J. Chalmers offers a cogent analysis of this heated debate as he unveils a major new theory of consciousness, one that rejects the prevailing reductionist trend of science, while offering provocative insights into the relationship between mind and brain.
Writing in a rigorous, thought-provoking style, the author takes us on a far-reaching tour through the philosophical ramifications of consciousness. Chalmers convincingly reveals how contemporary cognitive science and neurobiology have failed to explain how and why mental events emerge from physiological occurrences in the brain. He proposes instead that conscious experience must be understood in an entirely new light--as an irreducible entity (similar to such physical properties as time, mass, and space) that exists at a fundamental level and cannot be understood as the sum of its parts. And after suggesting some intriguing possibilities about the structure and laws of conscious experience, he details how his unique reinterpretation of the mind could be the focus of a new science. Throughout the book, Chalmers provides fascinating thought experiments that trenchantly illustrate his ideas. For example, in exploring the notion that consciousness could be experienced by machines as well as humans, Chalmers asks us to imagine a thinking brain in which neurons are slowly replaced by silicon chips that precisely duplicate their functions--as the neurons are replaced, will consciousness gradually fade away? The book also features thoughtful discussions of how the author's theories might be practically applied to subjects as diverse as artificial intelligence and the interpretation of quantum mechanics.
All of us have pondered the nature and meaning of consciousness. Engaging and penetrating, The Conscious Mind adds a fresh new perspective to the subject that is sure to spark debate about our understanding of the mind for years to come.
CONSCIOUS: A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE FUNDAMENTAL MYSTERY OF THE MIND

CONSCIOUS: A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE FUNDAMENTAL MYSTERY OF THE MIND

By: Harris, Annaka
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

If you've ever wondered how you have the capacity to wonder, some fascinating insights await you in these pages." --Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals

As concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, free will, and felt experience.

What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we?

In this wonderfully accessible book, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it.

Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness--allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.

CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE BRAIN: DECIPHERING HOW THE BRAIN CODES OUR THOUGHTS

CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE BRAIN: DECIPHERING HOW THE BRAIN CODES OUR THOUGHTS

By: Dehaene, Stanislas
$17.00
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WINNER OF THE 2014 BRAIN PRIZE

From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain and How We Learn, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain

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.