States of Mind: New Discoveries About How Our Brains Make Us Who We Are

Overview

An all-star lineup of scientists takes you to the front lines of brain research.Are we born to be shy? Why do we remember some events so clearly and others not at all? Are creativity and depression somehow linked? Do our dreams really have deeper meanings? Now in paperback, here is a wonderfully accessible introduction to the most important recent findings about how our health, behavior, feelings, and identities are influenced by what goes on inside our brains. In this timely book, eight pioneering researchers ...

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States of Mind: New Discoveries About How Our Brains Make Us Who We Are

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Overview

An all-star lineup of scientists takes you to the front lines of brain research.Are we born to be shy? Why do we remember some events so clearly and others not at all? Are creativity and depression somehow linked? Do our dreams really have deeper meanings? Now in paperback, here is a wonderfully accessible introduction to the most important recent findings about how our health, behavior, feelings, and identities are influenced by what goes on inside our brains. In this timely book, eight pioneering researchers offer lively and stimulating discussions on the most exciting discoveries as well as a new way of understanding our emotions, moods, memories, and dreams. Inside, you'll find:* J. ALLAN HOBSON, author of the groundbreaking The Dreaming Brain, leading a tour of dream states and explaining why we dream and what dream studies reveal about our minds* ERIC KANDEL, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine, taking us along the chain of biological events that create long-term memories, revealing how we stand at the brink of helping those who suffer from grave mental and memory disorders* STEVEN HYMAN, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, tracing the links between nature and nurture, particularly in addiction and mental illness, to explain the relationship between inherited tendencies and the impact of life experience* KAY REDFIELD JAMISON, bestselling author of An Unquiet Mind, explaining manic depression, its prevalence among gifted artists, writers, and musicians, and the societal questions raised by trying to eradicate the "depression gene". . . and much, much more. Whether discussing the brain-body connection, the sources of emotion, or the ethereal world of dreams, States of Mind enables you to share in the very latest explorations into the nature and function of the human mind.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From Publishers Weekly
Eight crisply written reports about groundbreaking advances in brain research form this accessible tome based on a lecture series. Joseph LeDoux, NYU brain scientist, describes his exciting investigations into the human brain's "fear system" for detecting and responding to danger. The workings of this quick-response system, which bypasses the higher, "thinking" parts of the brain, provide a neurological basis for Freud's theory of the unconscious, he asserts. At the opposite pole, Harvard psychiatry professor J. Allan Hobson argues that while dreams consolidate memories and learning, their strange images are merely incidental physiological by-products, rather than symbols fraught with emotional meaning. Noting the prevalence of manic-depressive illness and depression among renowned artists, writers and composers, Johns Hopkins psychiatry professor Kay Redfield Jamison suggests that the genes predisposing an individual to these disorders might also confer a proclivity for creativity. Attempts to get rid of or to mute these genes pose a dilemma for society, she declares, since they may constitute one source of artistic genius. Bruce McEwen of Rockefeller University reports that chronic stress not only exacerbates a host of illnesses but also damages the hippocampus, a brain structure involved with memory, and Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan explains why he believes our individual brain chemistries at birth predispose us to be outgoing or shy, bold or fearful. Based on a 1997 lecture series co-sponsored by Smithsonian Associates and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, an organization of U.S. brain researchers, the volume is enhanced by chapter headnotes and illustrations ranging from a medieval medical woodcut to modern brain scans. 
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471399735
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/16/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 287,508
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberta Conlan is a regular contributor to the publications of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (D. Mahoney).

Introduction (R. Conlan).

Susceptibility and "Second Hits" (S. Hyman).

Born to Be Shy? (J. Kagan).

A Magical Orange Grove in a Nightmare: Creativity and Mood Disorders (K. Jamison).

Stress and the Brain (B. McEwen).

Emotions and Disease: A Balance of Molecules (E. Sternberg).

The Power of Emotions (J. LeDoux).

Of Learning, Memory, and Genetic Switches (E. Kandel).

Order from Chaos (J. Hobson).

Notes.

Index.

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