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Nature's Mind: The Impact of Darwinian Selection on Thinking, Emotions, Sexuality, Language, and Intelligence

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gazzaniga believes that circuits for language and problem-solving were built into the human brain as the result of millions of years of evolution. Selection theory, which this Dartmouth professor of psychiatry espouses, goes even further: it maintains that we are born with all the world's complexity built inside us; what, to the outsider, seems like learning, is merely a matching process, as the organism searches through its library of circuits to select the most suitable strategy for a given external challenge. In an accessible treatise that takes the nature vs. nurture controversy to a new extreme, Gazzaniga ( The Social Brain ), using selection theory, dismantles psychoanalysis, chides doctors for not heeding the body's innate wisdom, and offers explanations for drug addiction, alcoholism, dieting, hypersexed behavior and compulsions. He advises parents to ``set a context for opportunity'' and to let the child do the rest. Emphasizing ``feeling-in-control'' as a key to well-being, he suggests that ``disempowering'' institutions such as welfare and homes for the elderly can be detrimental. Photos. Library of Science alternate. (Oct.)
Booknews
Dr. Gazzaniga (director, Center for Neurobiology, U. of Calif., Davis) writes for the lay audience, surveying recent neuroscientific research and its implications for the nature vs. nurture controversy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465076499
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Pages: 240

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface
Introduction: Selection versus Instruction 1
Ch. 1 A Lesson from Biology: Modern Immunology 8
Ch. 2 The Plastic Brain and Selection Theory 30
Ch. 3 The Developing Mind: The Interaction Of Genes and Environment 55
Ch. 4 Language and Selection Theory 72
Ch. 5 Specialized Brain Circuits: Selecting for Intelligence 95
Ch. 6 Selecting for Mind 112
Ch. 7 Addictions, Compulsions, and Selection Theory 138
Ch. 8 Selection Theory and the Death of Psychoanalysis 159
Ch. 9 Health Care, Aging, and Selection Theory 178
Epilogue
Selection Theory and Clues to the Nature of Conscious Experience 199
Suggested Readings 205
Index 215
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