Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language

Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language

by William H. Calvin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0201483378

ISBN-13: 9780201483376

Pub. Date: 04/28/1995

Publisher: Basic Books


In a series of stories before, after, and even during neurosurgery, an epileptic patient, Neil; his surgeon, George Ojemann; and neuroscientist William Calvin work together to remove a portion of Neil’s temporal lobe. If they do it right, they will have a good chance of putting an end to Neil’s seizures. If they slice too far to the left or right, they…  See more details below

Overview


In a series of stories before, after, and even during neurosurgery, an epileptic patient, Neil; his surgeon, George Ojemann; and neuroscientist William Calvin work together to remove a portion of Neil’s temporal lobe. If they do it right, they will have a good chance of putting an end to Neil’s seizures. If they slice too far to the left or right, they will wipe out essential parts of Neil’s memory, or his ability to follow a joke to the punch line, or maybe his ability to recognize his wife’s face. In essence, they can erase or alter parts of Neil.Conversations with Neil’s Brain takes us inside the operating room and allows us to be part of this eerie process of discovery, using it to provide a unique window on human consciousness and the nature of human identity. The mapping of Neil’s brain brings to life as never before the astounding specificity by which the brian operates, making clear why language, memory, and decision making are so complex, and why the cures for such ailments as learning disabilities, mental disorders, Alzheimer’s, and strokes continue to elude the world’s best medical efforts. In the context of this unique surgical drama, Conversations with Neil’s Brain unfolds as an intensely compelling read.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780201483376
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1A Window to the Brain1
2Losing Consciousness19
3Seeing the Brain Speak39
4If Language Is Left, What's Right?59
5The Problems with Paying Attention75
6The Personality of the Lowly Neuron89
7The What and Where of Memory109
8How Are Memories Made?123
9What's Up Front137
10When Things Go Wrong with Thought and Mood151
11Tuning Up the Brain by Pruning171
12Acquiring and Reacquiring Language185
13Taking Apart the Visual Image203
14How the Brain Subdivides Language219
15Why Can We Read So Well?231
16Stringing Things Together in Novel Ways243
17Deep in the Temporal Lobe, Just Across from the Brain Stem253
18In Search of the Narrator267
Postscript and Acknowledgments293
General References295
End Notes297
Index331

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