The Soul in the Brain: The Cerebral Basis of Language, Art, and Belief

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Overview

In this provocative study, Michael R. Trimble, M.D., tackles the interrelationships between brain function, language, art—especially music and poetry—and religion. By examining the breakdown of language in several neuropsychiatric disorders, he identifies brain circuits that are involved with metaphor, poetry, music, and religious experiences. Drawing on this body of evidence, Trimble argues that religious experiences and beliefs have biological foundations which relate to brain function, especially of the nondominant hemisphere. It is through an understanding of these associations that he explores the basis of human creativity.

"This book exists... to explain matters of the heart using our knowledge of the mind... A host of professional students, clinicians, educators, and other well-read individuals will find this worthy of a close and careful read."— JAMA

"A highly thought-provoking excursion through neuroscience, philosophy, and culture."— Scientific American Mind

"This scholarly, yet provocative, book from an insightful, observant neurologist... is rich with thought-provoking ideas."— British Journal of Psychiatry

"Trimble’s book has elegantly accomplished its ambitious scope in highlighting the cerebral mechanisms that contribute to the most vital aspects of human experience, thus building solid intellectual bridges between different—and often noncommunicating—research fields."— Cognitive Neuropsychiatry

"It is hard to imagine reading this book carefully without being enriched by the experience."— Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

"An evocative meditation on art and biology."— Choice

"This text considers crucial and significant questions about the relationship between creativity, belief, and the brain. One does not need to agree with the arguments and conclusions to find much of value in this book. I suspect that it will receive a warm critical reception within scientific and medical contexts, and I have no doubt that many receptive readers will also be found amongst an informed general audience."— Journal of Religious History

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

JAMA
This book exists... to explain matters of the heart using our knowledge of the mind... A host of professional students, clinicians, educators, and other well-read individuals will find this worthy of a close and careful read.

— Mark H. Fleisher

British Journal of Psychiatry
This scholarly, yet provocative, book from an insightful, observant neurologist... is rich with thought-provoking ideas.

— Chris McManus

JAMA - Mark H. Fleisher

This book exists... to explain matters of the heart using our knowledge of the mind... A host of professional students, clinicians, educators, and other well-read individuals will find this worthy of a close and careful read.

Midwest Book Review

Perfect for either college-level collections strong in science, health, or social science and for public lending collections alike... An intriguing, lively survey.

Scientific American Mind

A highly thought-provoking excursion through neuroscience, philosophy, and culture.

British Journal of Psychiatry - Chris McManus

This scholarly, yet provocative, book from an insightful, observant neurologist... is rich with thought-provoking ideas.

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry - Bruce L Miller

It is hard to imagine reading this book carefully without being enriched by the experience.

Journal of Religious History - Jay Johnston

This text considers crucial and significant questions about the relationship between creativity, belief and the brain. One does not need to agree with the arguments and conclusions to find much of value in this book. I suspect that it will receive a warm critical reception within scientific and medical contexts, and I have no doubt that many receptive readers will also be found amongst an informed general audience.

Cognitive Neuropsychiatry - Andrea E. Cavanna

Trimble’s book has elegantly accomplished its ambitious scope in highlighting the cerebral mechanisms that contribute to the most vital aspects of human experience, thus building solid intellectual bridges between different—and often noncommunicating—research fields.

Choice

A final chapter integrates the book's core themes, using poetic examples as illustrations—resulting in an evocative meditation on art and biology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801884818
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/20/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,457,269
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael R. Trimble, M.D., is a professor of behavioral neurology at the Institute of Neurology, University of London.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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