Search Results for: the idea of the brain

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Surfaces and Essences

Surfaces and Essences

Analogy is the core of all thinking.

This is the simple but unorthodox premise that Pulitzer Prize — winning author Douglas Hofstadter and French psychologist Emmanuel Sander defend in their new work. Hofstadter has been grappling with the mysteries of human thought for over thirty years. Now, with his trademark wit and special talent for making complex ideas vivid, he has partnered with Sander to put forth a highly novel perspective on cognition.

We are constantly faced with a swirling and intermingling multitude of ill-defined situations. Our brain’s job is to try to make sense of this unpredictable, swarming chaos of stimuli. How does it do so? The ceaseless hail of input triggers analogies galore, helping us to pinpoint the essence of what is going on. Often this means the spontaneous evocation of words, sometimes idioms, sometimes the triggering of nameless, long-buried memories.

Why did two-year-old Camille proudly exclaim, “I undressed the banana!”? Why do people who hear a story often blurt out, “Exactly the same thing happened to me!” when it was a completely different event? How do we recognize an aggressive driver from a split-second glance in our rearview mirror? What in a friend’s remark triggers the offhand reply, “That’s just sour grapes”? What did Albert Einstein see that made him suspect that light consists of particles when a century of research had driven the final nail in the coffin of that long-dead idea?

The answer to all these questions, of course, is analogy-making — the meat and potatoes, the heart and soul, the fuel and fire, the gist and the crux, the lifeblood and the wellsprings of thought. Analogy-making, far from happening at rare intervals, occurs at all moments, defining thinking from top to toe, from the tiniest and most fleeting thoughts to the most creative scientific insights.

Like Gö, Escher, Bach before it, Surfaces and Essences will profoundly enrich our understanding of our own minds. By plunging the reader into an extraordinary variety of colorful situations involving language, thought, and memory, by revealing bit by bit the constantly churning cognitive mechanisms normally completely hidden from view, and by discovering in them one central, invariant core — the incessant, unconscious quest for strong analogical links to past experiences — this book puts forth a radical and deeply surprising new vision of the act of thinking.
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 Body Speaks

The Body Speaks

For decades, health care providers have worked as though there were a monolithic wall dividing the ailments of the mind from those of the body. Theorists on either side developed separate languages and philosophies to explain symptoms. This distinction has left many clinicians unable to treat successfully patients whose symptoms—such as headaches, conversion paralysis, and seizures—arise from the place where mind and body meet. In this book, the authors describe a powerful narrative therapy, one that relies on the wisdom and everyday language of patients' real-life stories instead of the expert knowledge and professional language of the clinician. This approach can be used across all categories of somatic symptoms, from factitious ones to medical illnesses such as asthma or migraine headaches.The authors show how somatic symptoms are often related to unspeakable dilemmas, as in the case of a child who, after discovering a parent's marital infidelity, is afraid to disclose the secret and begins having blackout spells for which a neurologist can find no physiological basis. These dilemmas can be understood only if a clinician creates the kind of relationship in which privately held stories of fear, shame, and threat can be told safely. Detailed case studies and numerous brief examples vividly illustrate techniques for helping patients escape the dilemmas that bind their bodies by finding new language and stories that can free them.In an innovative section, the authors rethink the current ideas and practices of psychopharmacology. Rather than “treating” a brain disease, a clinician uses medications to recalibrate brain systems that register alarm, thereby opening new possibilities for therapeutic change through speaking, listening, reflecting, and relating.This book offers all clinicians—psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, physicians, and family therapists—a way to use language to help patients resolve bodily symptoms. It avoids the stigmatization that patients and families so often experience—and the frustration clinicians feel—when struggling to find answers for mind-body problems.
Recover!

Recover!

For decades you’ve been told that addiction is an irreversible disease, a biological force over which you have no control. That defeatist message not only is without scientific foundation, but actually prevents your overcoming addiction.

Now, world-renowned addiction expert Stanton Peele demystifies addiction and offers a groundbreaking program that puts at your disposal what does work in treatment and recovery. For four decades, Dr. Peele has challenged our understanding of addiction and recovery. He has developed approaches that break the cycle of addiction and empower us to take control of our lives–including understanding that we are able to direct our own brains to change. In Recover!Dr. Peele’s PERFECT Program takes you through the key concepts of mindfulness–that is, your ability to detach from your addictive experience and to see that it is not who you are–combined with the Buddhist idea of loving kindness, or self-acceptance. It’s an easily grasped, yet multifaceted program that allows your true self to overcome your addictive urges.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with you, the PERFECT Program will help you discover, embrace, and build your recovery on what’s already right about you. Combining the best evidence-based treatments with the mindful use of meditation, Recover!presents a life-transforming philosophy for freeing yourself from addiction forever.
Distracted

Distracted

Keeping students focused can be difficult in a world filled with distractions — which is why a renowned educator created a scientific solution to one of every teacher’s biggest problems.

Why is it so hard to get students to pay attention? Conventional wisdom blames iPhones, insisting that access to technology has ruined students’ ability to focus. The logical response is to ban electronics in class.

But acclaimed educator James M. Lang argues that this solution obscures a deeper problem: how we teach is often at odds with how students learn. Classrooms are designed to force students into long periods of intense focus, but emerging science reveals that the brain is wired for distraction. We learn best when able to actively seek and synthesize new information.

In Distracted, Lang rethinks the practice of teaching, revealing how educators can structure their classrooms less as distraction-free zones and more as environments where they can actively cultivate their students’ attention.

Brimming with ideas and grounded in new research, Distracted offers an innovative plan for the most important lesson of all: how to learn.
Arthur's Audio Favorites, Volume 1

Arthur's Audio Favorites, Volume 1

by Marc Brown Read by Marc Brown
Arthur’s adventures are now available on audio. This special collection includes:

ARTHUR’S FIRST SLEEPOVER: What could top a sleepover in the backyard with Buster and the Brain? When rumors start that a spaceship has landed in the neighborhood the idea of camping under the stars takes on a whole new meaning. Arthur’s sister D.W. is so sure that he will see an alien on his overnight that she gives him her camera. When they hear muffled footsteps approaching their tent and see strange flashes of light, it seems D.W. was right! Or was she?

ARTHUR’S TOOTH: Arthur, tired of being the only one in his class who still has all his baby teeth, waits impatiently for his loose tooth to fall out.

ARTHUR’S BIRTHDAY: Arthur’s friends must decide which party to attend when Francine schedules her birthday party for the same day as Arthur’s birthday party.

ARTHUR’S PET BUSINESS: Arthur’s determination to prove he is responsible enough to have a puppy brings him a menagerie of animals to care for.

ARTHUR’S NEW PUPPY: Arthur is delighted when he finally gets his new puppy, Pal, but his “accidents” and all-night barking make life miserable for the entire family, until Arthur comes up with a solution.

ARTHUR WRITES A STORY: What makes a story entertaining? That’s the question Arthur asks himself when Mr. Ratburn gives a creative writing assignment to the class. When D.W. yawns through Arthur’s first story, he worries that his tale isn’t exciting enough. Is the setting to humdrum? Maybe he needs to research his subject more thoroughly. With every new angle, Arthur’s story takes one more hilarious step further away from his original idea — but is the end result really the tale he wants to tell?
Arthur's First Sleepover (A Story from Arthur's Audio Favorites, Volume 1)

Arthur's First Sleepover (A Story from Arthur's Audio Favorites, Volume 1)

by Marc Brown Read by Marc Brown
Arthur’s adventures are now available on audio. This special collection includes:

ARTHUR’S FIRST SLEEPOVER: What could top a sleepover in the backyard with Buster and the Brain? When rumors start that a spaceship has landed in the neighborhood the idea of camping under the stars takes on a whole new meaning. Arthur’s sister D.W. is so sure that he will see an alien on his overnight that she gives him her camera. When they hear muffled footsteps approaching their tent and see strange flashes of light, it seems D.W. was right! Or was she?

ARTHUR’S TOOTH: Arthur, tired of being the only one in his class who still has all his baby teeth, waits impatiently for his loose tooth to fall out.

ARTHUR’S BIRTHDAY: Arthur’s friends must decide which party to attend when Francine schedules her birthday party for the same day as Arthur’s birthday party.

ARTHUR’S PET BUSINESS: Arthur’s determination to prove he is responsible enough to have a puppy brings him a menagerie of animals to care for.

ARTHUR’S NEW PUPPY: Arthur is delighted when he finally gets his new puppy, Pal, but his “accidents” and all-night barking make life miserable for the entire family, until Arthur comes up with a solution.

ARTHUR WRITES A STORY: What makes a story entertaining? That’s the question Arthur asks himself when Mr. Ratburn gives a creative writing assignment to the class. When D.W. yawns through Arthur’s first story, he worries that his tale isn’t exciting enough. Is the setting to humdrum? Maybe he needs to research his subject more thoroughly. With every new angle, Arthur’s story takes one more hilarious step further away from his original idea – but is the end result really the tale he wants to tell?
All Over the Place

All Over the Place

Some people are meant to travel the globe, to unwrap its secrets and share them with the world. And some people have no sense of direction, are terrified of pigeons, and get motion sickness from tying their shoes. These people are meant to stay home and eat nachos.

Geraldine DeRuiter is the latter. But she won’t let that stop her.

Hilarious, irreverent, and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the years Geraldine spent traveling the world after getting laid off from a job she loved. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she now understands her Russian father better than ever before. She learned that what she thought was her mother’s functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called “being Italian.” She learned what it’s like to travel the world with someone you already know and love — how that person can help you make sense of things and make far-off places feel like home. She learned about unemployment and brain tumors, lost luggage and lost opportunities, and just getting lost in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned that sometimes you can find yourself exactly where you need to be — even if you aren’t quite sure where you are.
The Good Mood Diet

The Good Mood Diet

Dr. Kleiner, a leading nutrition authority on eating for strength, has put together a diet that has already been tested in Seattle with a Seattle Good Mood Diet weight loss group program. Bob Condor highlighted the progress of the group in the Seattle Post Intelligencer from Nov. 1, 2004 through April 2005. The author has since received thousands of requests for more information.

The idea behind this book is that you can choose healthy foods that both make you feel great and, when eaten according to the plan, help you lose weight. Most diets cause chemical changes in the brain that make the dieter feel depressed. The typical plan is often too low in calories. In this diet, the participants eat feel-good foods with both ideal timing and ideal combinations. People’s energy levels soar and participants feel better in days.

The key is to combine the right foods-i.e. balance of protein and fats to go with carbs. The plan outlines a diet of about 40 percent carbs, 30 percent proteins, and 30 percent fats and fiber. Participants eat from a list of “feel good foods,” and eliminate excessive added sugar in processed foods. Sweets are not taboo, but the authors believes in “eat it only if you love it” when it comes to sweets. For instance, if you love pumpkin pie, have a slice, but maybe skip the crust unless it’s fabulous. A bit of chocolate and a glass of red wine a day is okay once you’re two weeks into the
Malcolm Gladwell Box Set

Malcolm Gladwell Box Set

For the first time all three of Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling, groundbreaking audiobooks are available together in an “instant classic” box set at a value-price.

THE TIPPING POINT: The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, has already changed the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

BLINK: In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others? Blink reveals that great decision makers aren’t those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of “thin-slicing”-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.



OUTLIERS: In this stunning audiobook, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”-the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
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