Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives

( 3 )

Overview

The brain can be weighed, measured, scanned, dissected, and studied. The mind that we conceive to be generated by the brain, however, remains a mystery. It has no mass, no volume, and no shape, and it cannot be measured in space and time. Yet it is as real as neurons, neurotransmitters, and synaptic junctions. It is also very powerful.
—from Brain Wars

Is the brain "a computer made of meat," and human consciousness a simple product of ...

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Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives

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Overview

The brain can be weighed, measured, scanned, dissected, and studied. The mind that we conceive to be generated by the brain, however, remains a mystery. It has no mass, no volume, and no shape, and it cannot be measured in space and time. Yet it is as real as neurons, neurotransmitters, and synaptic junctions. It is also very powerful.
—from Brain Wars

Is the brain "a computer made of meat," and human consciousness a simple product of electrical impulses? The idea that matter is all that exists has dominated science since the late nineteenth century and led to the long-standing scientific and popular understanding of the brain as simply a collection of neurons and neural activity. But for acclaimed neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, Ph.D., along with a rising number of colleagues and others, this materialist-based view clashes with what we feel and experience every day.

In Brain Wars, Dr. Beauregard delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the role of the brain and mind. Filled with engaging, surprising, and cutting-edge scientific accounts, this eye-opening book makes the increasingly indisputable case that our immaterial minds influence what happens in our brains, our bodies, and even beyond our bodies. Examining the hard science behind "unexplained" phenomena such as the placebo effect, self-healing, brain control, meditation, hypnosis, and near-death and mystical experiences, Dr. Beauregard reveals the mind's capabilities and explores new answers to age-old mind-body questions.

Radically shifting our comprehension of the role of consciousness in the universe, Brain Wars forces us to consider the immense untapped power of the mind and explore the profound social, moral, and spiritual implications that this new understanding holds for our future.

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Editorial Reviews

Dean Radin
Brain Wars explains why the prevailing brain-mind paradigm is falling apart and why we are increasingly being forced to reconsider the nature of consciousness. The consequences of this paradigm shift are profound, and Mario Beauregard does a magnificent job in explaining why.”
Bruce Greyson
“Mario Beauregard shows convincingly that the materialistic philosophy of the 19th century is an impoverished framework incompatible with contemporary science, from physics to psychology. The concepts he develops in Brain Wars are required reading for scientific literacy in today’s world.”
B. Alan Wallace
“In this ground-breaking work, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard cites a range of scientific studies challenging many widely held materialistic assumptions about the relation between the mind and brain.”
Pim van Lommel
“Dr. Beauregard describes that our mind/consciousness has a fundamental and irreducible nature, and that it sometimes can be experienced independently from the body because it is not limited to our brain. Brain Wars clearly announces the end of physicalism, reductionism, materialism and objectivism in science.”
Dean Radin PhDCo-Editor-in-Chief
Brain Wars explains why the prevailing brain-mind paradigm is falling apart and why we are increasingly being forced to reconsider the nature of consciousness. The consequences of this paradigm shift are profound, and Mario Beauregard does a magnificent job in explaining why.”
Larry Dossey
“The assumption that the brain makes consciousness, like the liver makes bile, and that human consciousness is confined to the brain and body, will not endure because it is unscientific, and cannot account for how consciousness manifests in the world. In this important book, Dr. Mario Beauregard shows why.”
Library Journal
In this exploration of the nature of the mind, neuroscientist Beauregard (psychology & radiology, Univ. of Montreal; coauthor, The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul) covers a wide range of topics including placebos (and nocebos), neurofeedback, neuroplasticity, psychoneuroimmunology, hypnosis, psi (e.g., extrasensory perception and psychokinesis), near death and mystical experiences, and quantum physics. The 1990s were "the decade of the brain," he writes, and neuroscience remains one of the few largely unexplored scientific frontiers. Discussing imaging technologies, such as functional MRIs, that can noninvasively measure brain activity in new and exciting ways, Beauregard suggests that today's science fiction may become tomorrow's science, particularly in the field of biology. His book makes clear that, in the profound relationship between mind and body, there is a great deal about both that nobody yet knows. VERDICT Provocative and accessible, this book is ultimately less about hard science and more about the mind-body problem and philosophy of materialistic science. It will be of interest to readers of Andrew Newberg's How God Changes Your Brain.—Mary Chitty, Cambridge Healthtech Lib., Needham, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A neuropsychologist argues that the time has come for "an expanded model of reality" that takes into account the separation of mind and consciousness from the brain. Beauregard (The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul, 2008, etc.), an associate researcher at the University of Montreal, cites examples to set the stage for his conviction that "mind and consciousness are not produced by the brain." He gives examples of the placebo effect and the use of neurofeedback to train the mind to control brain functions, and he rejects efforts to map areas of the brain to mental functions by the use of electrical stimulation and other methods--he deems these to be reductionist. To support his contention of the primacy of mind over matter, Beauregard describes the apparent effectiveness of black magic on victims who believe in the power of spells. More controversial are his contentions about extrasensory perception. He reports examples of out-of-body and near-death experiences, which he interprets as proof of the existence of the soul and its life after death. He also discusses clairvoyance and precognition; he writes, "no current theories in physics, psychology, or neuroscience can explain them convincingly." In the author's view, a scientific paradigm shift is on the horizon, and he states what he claims to be definitive proof that under certain conditions "telepathy does occur." He cites an experiment in which participants in different rooms were shown the same four pictures. One made a selection and the other guessed which one was selected. In one third of the instances, the second participant chose the correct picture, beating the "odds against chance beyond a million billion to one." He does not entertain the possibility that the experimental design was flawed. Proponents of the author's new-age beliefs will be intrigued; others will be more skeptical.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062071569
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2012
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 258,868
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mario Beauregard, Ph.D., is an associate research professor at the Departments of Psychology and Radiology and the Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Montreal. He is the coauthor of The Spiritual Brain and more than one hundred publications in neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A "Computer Made of Meat?" Materialism and the Mind-Brain Problem 1

1 The Power of Belief to Cure or Kill: The Placebo/Nocebo Effect 17

2 Brain Control: Neurofeedback 43

3 Train Your Mind, Transform Your Brain: Neuroplasticity 65

4 Surfing the Psychosomatic Network: The Intimate Connection of Mind and Body 89

5 The Mind Force Within: Hypnosis 109

6 Beyond Space and Time: Psi 133

7 Mind Out of Body: Mind, Brain, and Near-Death Experiences 157

8 Embracing a Greater Self: Mystical Experiences 183

Conclusion: A Great Shift in Consciousness 207

Acknowledgments 215

Notes 217

Index 241

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Are human beings truly nothing more than "computers made of

    Are human beings truly nothing more than "computers made of meat," which
    cease to exist when the power's turned off? 

    This book takes a look at some of the evidence that consciousness exists in
    addition to and outside of the brain, and shows that the mind can do seemingly
    impossible things. Why/how placebos work, what has been documented to
    happen during OOB (Out of Body) and NDE's (Near Death Experiences). How
    "remote viewing" is a thing and has been used by the US government.

    And what does quantum physics have to do with it all?

    While I can't begin to explain all the points this book touches upon, I came away
    from it with a renewed belief that the brain and body are important tools, but are
    no more "us" than our favorite jeans are "us." A mind-expanding read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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