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Search Results for: the idea of the brain

Showing 1-10 of 36 results

Undoing Drugs

Undoing Drugs

Journalist and New York Times bestselling author tackles the revolutionary concept of harm reduction, how it can transform the treatment of addiction, and how it holds the potential to revolutionize our treatment of behavioral and societal issues.

In her New York Times bestseller Unbroken Brain, journalist Maia Szalavitz took an unflinching look at addiction, challenging the idea of the “broken brain” to offer a groundbreaking perspective on addiction as a learning disorder. Now she turns her keen eye and narrative powers to the surprisingly simple–and extremely divisive–practice of harm reduction, which is a revolutionary means to solving the drug addiction crisis.

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans annually than guns, cars or breast cancer. But in the name of “sending the right message,” we have criminalized drug addiction, denied those who are addicted medical care, housing and other benefits, and have deliberately allowed the spread of fatal diseases. Yet there is an alternative to our present system, one that has been proven to work, but which runs counter to the received wisdom of our criminal and medical industrial complexes. It is called harm reduction.

A surprisingly simple idea with enormous power, harm reduction takes the focus off of drug use and instead works to minimize associated damage. It represents the philosophy behind needle exchange programs and providing heroin addicts with the overdose medication naloxone instead of arresting them. It is focused not on punishing pleasure but on minimizing harm; in essence, it is a wholesale refutation of the American way of justice.

Undoing Drugs tells the story of harm reduction. It will show how this concept has begun to transform the treatment of addiction and how it holds the potential to revolutionize how we deal with a range of other urgent behavioral and societal issues. Harm reduction challenges people to prioritize radical empathy and kindness over punishment as a way of not only dealing with drug use, but also in questions related to racism, sexism, disability and inequality. And, as Szalavitz shows, it says unequivocally that we must be more concerned about saving lives and health than about criminalizing quality-of-life crimes.

Szalavitz argues for a practical application of the Hippocratic oath to “First, do no harm” beyond medicine and to those who urgently need it most.
The True Path

The True Path

In The True Path, Duke psychiatrist Roy J. Mathew draws on his own extensive knowledge of neuroscience as he looks at the centuries-old Indian idea that spirituality is a state of mind-a higher form of consciousness. Mathew shows how the latest brain research demonstrates that activities such as prayer, music, art, nature, intuitive knowledge, altruism, and meditation stimulate the non-dominant hemisphere of the brain. Spirituality is intimately connected to this area of the brain and must be accessed-according to Indian philosophy-by removing the “sheaths” of everyday life. With scientific evidence that this “pure consciousness” truly exists, Mathew shows readers how to use meditation, yoga, and other traditional methods of contemplation to achieve this spiritual state of mind.
The Secret Pulse of Time

The Secret Pulse of Time

Have you ever fantasized about having more time-now, this minute, to accomplish everything you need and want to get done today? Or wondered why time flies when you are thoroughly engrossed in something? Or why minutes pass so slowly when you’re standing in line at the store or airport, or on hold waiting for a customer service rep to answer your call? Or how, simply, to find more time to relax and unwind? Now, with The Secret Pulse of Time, already a longstanding best seller in Germany, internationally best-selling and award-winning science writer Stefan Klein has crafted what amounts to “operating instructions” for time. “We are all taking part in a giant experiment in dealing with time,” Klein writes-and his aim with this book is to help us each to understand “the degree to which our experience of time hinges on our outlook on life.”

With his journalist’s unerring eye for the telling detail, Stefan Klein effortlessly combines original investigation and reportage, personal revelation, and a wide-ranging, commanding presentation of scientific research among disciplines including brain physiology, social psychology, philosophy, and Einsteinian physics-with the goal of guiding us not only to better master time but also to understand why we so often fail to do so. Woven into his narrative are dozens of practical ways to make sense of and gain control over time, including: How not to lose your head when a deadline is quickly approaching How the present becomes a memory-and vice versa How to attune to your inner clock for more productive, satisfying days How to avoid becoming worn out by the fast tempo of modern life Popular science at its very best, The Secret Pulse of Time awakens us to and empowers us with the idea that time is far more at our disposal than we have ever before realized.
The Ravenous Brain

The Ravenous Brain

Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snowcapped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science.In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory — that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness.This model explains our brains”; ravenous appetite for information — and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behavior may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits — it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility.Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness — a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering.A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.
The Problem Of The Soul

The Problem Of The Soul

Science has always created problems for traditional ways of seeing things, but now the very attributes that make us human — free will, the permanence of personal identity, the existence of the soul — are threatened by the science of the mind. If the mind is the brain, and therefore a physical object subject to deterministic laws, how can we have free will? If most of our thoughts and impulses are unconscious, how can we be morally responsible for what we do? If brains and bodies undergo relentless change, how can our identities be constant? The Problem of the Soul shows the way out of these paradoxes. Framing the conflict in terms of two dominant visions of the mind — the “manifest image” of humanistic philosophy and theology, and the scientific image — Owen Flanagan demonstrates that there is common ground, and that we need not give up our ideas of moral responsibility and personal freedom in order to have an empirically sound view of the human mind. This is a profoundly relevant work of philosophy for the common reader.
The Political Brain

The Political Brain

The Political Brain is a groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more “dispassionate” notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists — and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on “the issues,” they lose. That’s why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt — and only one Republican has failed in that quest.

In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven’t decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates’ policy positions.

Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn’t so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said — or could have said — in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen’s discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years — such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can’t change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here’s how
The N.D.D. Book

The N.D.D. Book

The Sears Parenting Library’s latest addition is an exploration of how nutrition affects the brains and behavior of youngsters. N.D.D., or Nutrition Deficit Disorder, as coined by Dr. Bill Sears, is based on the idea that if “you put junk food into a child’s brain, you get back junk behavior and learning.”

Dr. Sears will explore the latest scientific research on the effects of nutrition on the brain. He will present case studies of his own patients who were diagnosed as “N.D.D.” and showed major improvement in learning and behavior with diet change. Instead of simply medicating his patients, Dr. Sears looked for a better solution — in fact, with better nutrition, many of his patients were able to greatly reduce or even stop their medication. The book will also provide parents with a prescription, shopping and meal tips, and recipes to make implementing a healthier lifestyle that much easier.

The N.D.D. Book will be a must-have for all parents who want to help their children become healthier, happier, and better prepared to learn.
The Mommy Brain

The Mommy Brain

Generations of mothers have been told — and believed — that having a baby means checking their own brains at the delivery room door. “The Mommy Brain” usually refers to a head full of feeding times, soccer schedules, and nursery rhymes, at the expense of creative or challenging ideas. But recent scientific research paints a dramatically different and far rosier picture. Journalist Katherine Ellison draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to demonstrate that, contrary to long-established wisdom that having children dumbs you down, raising children may make moms smarter . From enhanced senses in pregnancy and early motherhood to the alertness and memory skills necessary to manage like a pro, to a greater aptitude for risk-taking and a talent for empathy and negotiation, these advantages not only help mothers in raising their children, but in their work and social lives as well. Filled with lively (and often hilarious) stories of multitasking moms at home and on the job, The Mommy Brain encourages all of us to cast aside conventional thinking and discover the positive ways in which having children changes mothers’ brains for the better.
The Idea of the Brain

The Idea of the Brain



An “elegant”, “engrossing” (Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal) examination of what we think we know about the brain and why — despite technological advances — the workings of our most essential organ remain a mystery.

“I cannot recommend this book strongly enough.”–Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm

For thousands of years, thinkers and scientists have tried to understand what the brain does. Yet, despite the astonishing discoveries of science, we still have only the vaguest idea of how the brain works. In The Idea of the Brain, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb traces how our conception of the brain has evolved over the centuries. Although it might seem to be a story of ever-increasing knowledge of biology, Cobb shows how our ideas about the brain have been shaped by each era’s most significant technologies. Today we might think the brain is like a supercomputer. In the past, it has been compared to a telegraph, a telephone exchange, or some kind of hydraulic system. What will we think the brain is like tomorrow, when new technology arises? The result is an essential read for anyone interested in the complex processes that drive science and the forces that have shaped our marvelous brains.

The Happiness of Pursuit

The Happiness of Pursuit

When fishing for happiness, catch and release. Remember these seven words — they are the keys to being happy. So says Shimon Edelman, an expert on psychology and the mind.

In The Happiness of Pursuit, Edelman offers a fundamental understanding of pleasure and joy via the brain. Using the concept of the mind as a computing device, he unpacks how the human brain is highly active, involved in patterned networks, and constantly learning from experience. As our brains predict the future through pursuit of experience, we are rewarded both in real time and in the long run. Essentially, as Edelman discovers, it’s the journey, rather than the destination, that matters.

The idea that cognition is computation — the brain is a machine — is nothing new of course. But, as Edelman argues, the mind is actually a bundle of ongoing computations, essentially, the brain being one of many possible substrates that can support them. Edelman makes the case for these claims by constructing a conceptual toolbox that offers readers a glimpse of the computations underlying the mind’s faculties: perception, motivation and emotions, action, memory, thinking, social cognition, learning and language. It is this collection of tools that enables us to discover how and why happiness happens.

An informative, accessible, and witty tour of the mind, The Happiness of Pursuit offers insights to a thorough understanding of what minds are, how they relate to each other and to the world, and how we can make the best of it all.
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