The Genius Engine: Where Memory, Reason, Passion, Violence, and Creativity Intersect in the Human Brain [NOOK Book]

Overview

A spellbinding journey to the frontiers of neuroscience

In The Genius Engine, acclaimed science editor and writer Kathleen Stein takes an enthralling in-depth look at the PFC, the site of our working memory, impulse control, reason, perception, decision making, and emotional processing—all the things that comprise our human genius.

The PFC differs widely among individuals, as much as fingerprints. At its best, the PFC determines how you'll ...

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The Genius Engine: Where Memory, Reason, Passion, Violence, and Creativity Intersect in the Human Brain

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Overview

A spellbinding journey to the frontiers of neuroscience

In The Genius Engine, acclaimed science editor and writer Kathleen Stein takes an enthralling in-depth look at the PFC, the site of our working memory, impulse control, reason, perception, decision making, and emotional processing—all the things that comprise our human genius.

The PFC differs widely among individuals, as much as fingerprints. At its best, the PFC determines how you'll respond to an off-color joke and what makes you grouchy. It's what guides you to comfort a friend in need and discern between sarcasm and irony. It enables you to act today in light of actions that occurred in the past, and predict how to act tomorrow. But an improperly functioning PFC can trigger personality changes, murderous rage, lapses in judgment, and inability to plan or perceive the consequences of one's acts—in sum, the myriad problems facing our society today.

The Genius Engine delves deep into the human mind to unravel the mysteries that lie within the prefrontal cortex, the neural territory that defines what it is to be human.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As neuroscientists refine their understanding of how the human brain works, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been shown to play a powerful role. As the brain's "central executive," the PFC is responsible for handling all kinds of thought processes, from sorting through short-term memories to understanding jokes. Stein, the former neuroscience editor for Omni, uses interviews with a wide array of brain researchers as the foundation for her overview, explaining the significance of their research. While the ramifications of each line of study-establishing the PFC's role in everything from emotional intelligence to the suppression of violence-are significant, Stein has difficulty bringing them all together into a dynamic, involving story. And while she does provide a few pictures of the prefrontal and cerebral cortices at the beginning of the book, the lack of illustrations in the text makes it harder to understand the relationships among the areas of the brain she discusses. The science is solid, but the account lacks the welcoming quality of recent works by other brain specialists such as Steven Johnson and John Horgan. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
* As neuroscientists refine their understanding of how the human brain works, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been shown to play a powerful role. As the brain's "central executive," the PFC is responsible for handling all kinds of thought processes, from sorting through short-term memories to understanding jokes.Stein, the former neuroscience editor for Omni, uses interviews with a wide array of brain researchers as the foundation for her overview, explaining the significance of their research. While the ramifications of each line of study—establishing the PFC's role in everything from emotional intelligence to the suppression of violence—are significant, Stein has difficulty bringing them all together into a dynamic, involving story. And while she does provide a few pictures of the prefrontal and cerebral cortices at the beginning of the book, the lack of illustrations in the text makes it harder to understand the relationships among the areas of the brain she discusses. The science is solid, but the account lacks the welcoming quality of recent works by other brain specialists such as Steven Johnson and John Horgan. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, November 27, 2006)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470086889
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/4/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • File size: 784 KB

Meet the Author

KATHLEEN STEIN has written about science and technology for more than twenty years and was Omni's neuroscience editor for more than a decade. She has also written for the New York Times, Biotechnology Newswatch, and UPI, and has taught literature and writing at the college level at Rutgers.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Brain Maps and Matrices Diagram.

Introduction.

1. Memory: The DNA of Consciousness.

2. Reason: Logic, Laughter, and Looking Within.

3. Passion: In Cold Blood?

4. Violence: Morality and the Minds of the Killers.

5. Creativity: Art as a Window into the Brain.

6. Silicon Minds: The Rise of Machine Genius.

Notes.

Index.

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