Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality

Overview

Does the brain create the mind, or is some external entity involved? In addressing this "hard problem" of consciousness, we face a central human challenge: what do we really know and how do we know it? Tentative answers in this book follow from a synthesis of profound ideas, borrowed from philosophy, religion, politics, economics, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, and cosmology, the knowledge structures supporting our meager grasps of reality. This search for new links in the web of human knowledge extends in ...

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Overview

Does the brain create the mind, or is some external entity involved? In addressing this "hard problem" of consciousness, we face a central human challenge: what do we really know and how do we know it? Tentative answers in this book follow from a synthesis of profound ideas, borrowed from philosophy, religion, politics, economics, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, and cosmology, the knowledge structures supporting our meager grasps of reality. This search for new links in the web of human knowledge extends in many directions: the "shadows" of our thought processes revealed by brain imagining, brains treated as complex adaptive systems that reveal fractal-like behavior in the brain's nested hierarchy, resonant interactions facilitating functional connections in brain tissue, probability and entropy as measures of human ignorance, fundamental limits on human knowledge, and the central role played by information in both brains and physical systems.

In Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality, Paul Nunez discusses the possibility of deep connections between relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and consciousness: all entities involved with fundamental information barriers. Dr. Nunez elaborates on possible new links in this nested web of human knowledge that may tell us something new about the nature and origins of consciousness. In the end, does the brain create the mind? Or is the Mind already out there? You decide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brain, Mind and the Structure of Reality is a worthwhile read for scientists as well as nonscientists interested in the origins of consciousness. The author presents many thought-provoking observations and hypotheses and in many cases demonstrates his ability to present complex physical and mathematical phenomena in a way that will be readily understood by readers without substantial training in either discipline." —JAMA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199914647
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,441,028
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul L. Nunez is Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans and runs a small consulting firm, Cognitive Dissonance, LLC, that works on electroencephalography (EEG), mostly with the University of California at Irvine. Dr Nunez received a Masters Degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville in 1963 and a PhD in engineering physics from the University of California at San Diego in 1969.

After several years of scientific work in private industry, Dr Nunez opted for a major career change, accepting a grant from the National Institutes of Health for post-doctoral training at the UCSD Medical School, where he remained in a research position until 1980. From 1981-1985 he was Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at San Diego State University. He became Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University in 1985 and enjoyed a sabbatical at the Brain Sciences Institute in Melbourne, Australia from 1998 - 2000.

Dr Nunez has authored over 100 scientific publications and 4 books, including Electric Fields of the Brain: The Neurophysics of EEG in 2006 (Oxford University Press).

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Table of Contents

1 Many Faces of Consciousness 3

2 Ethics, Religion, and the Identity of Self 23

3 States of Mind 39

4 Why Hearts Don't Love and Brains Don't Pump 63

5 EEG: A Window on the Mind 89

6 Dynamic Patterns as Shadows of Thought 111

7 Networks, Waves, and Resonant Binding 131

8 The Limits of Science: What Do We Really Know? 153

9 Modern Physics, Cosmology, and Consciousness 177

10 The Weird Behavior of Quantum Systems 199

11 Ontological Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 225

12 Does the Brain Create the Mind? 245

Endnotes 277

Index 299

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