The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain / Edition 2

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A revised edition of the best-selling text on how relationships build our brains.
As human beings, we cherish our individuality yet we know that we live in constant relationship to others, and that other people play a significant part in regulating our emotional and social behavior. Although this interdependence is a reality of our existence, we are just beginning to understand that we have evolved as social creatures with interwoven brains and biologies. The human brain itself is a social organ and to truly understand being human, we must understand not only how we as whole people exist with others, but how our brains, themselves, exist in relationship to other brains.
The first edition of this book tackled these important questions of interpersonal neurobiology—that the brain is a social organ built through experience—using poignant case examples from the author’s years of clinical experience. Brain drawings and elegant explanations of social neuroscience wove together emerging findings from the research literature to bring neuroscience to the stories of our lives.
Since the publication of the first edition in 2006, the field of social neuroscience has grown at a mind-numbing pace. Technical advances now provide more windows into our inner neural universe and terms like attachment, empathy, compassion, and mindfulness have begun to appear in the scientific literature. Overall, there has been a deepening appreciation for the essential interdependence of brain and mind. More and more parents, teachers, and therapists are asking how brains develop, grow, connect, learn, and heal. The new edition of this book organizes this cutting-edge, abundant research and presents its compelling insights, reflecting a host of significant developments in social neuroscience.
Our understanding of mirror neurons and their significance to human relationships has continued to expand and deepen and is discussed here. Additionally, this edition reflects the gradual shift in focus from individual brain structures to functional neural systems—an important and necessary step forward. A great deal of neural overlap has been discovered in brain activation when we are thinking about others and ourselves. This raises many questions including how we come to know others and whether the notion of an “individual self” is anything more than an evolutionary strategy to support our interconnection.
In short, we are just beginning to see the larger implications of all neurological processes—how the architecture of the brain can help us to better understand individuals and our relationships. This book gives readers a deeper appreciation of how and why relationships have the power to reshape our brains throughout our life.

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Editorial Reviews

“I had barely started this book and was already recommending it to friends and colleagues. . . .I have been using Cozolino’s wisdom and work both for my clients and myself since reading this book.The breadth of empirical knowledge and wisdom it contains is phenomenal. . . .And due to Cozolino’s emphasis on attachment theory and development of the mind — including how he uses neuroscience and attachment theory in helping clients to change — I would recommend his work to parents as well.”
Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology And Health
“[R]emarkable book . . . . Cozolino not only provides valuable insights for treating old wounds, but, much more importantly, he describes the kind of nurturing social environments that can prevent such damage in the first place.”
Somatic Psychotherapy Today
“[F]ascinating . . . . The narratives provided are helpful in understanding the application of neuroscience in the clinical setting. The reader will certainly come away with a "deeper appreciation of the complexity and importance of our interactions with others, especially those closest to us" (xv).”
Therapy Today
“Reading this book has added a whole new dimension to my work and everyday life. Highly recommended.”
Clinical Social Work
“Cozolino adds...impressive contributions to the increasingly important field of neurobiology and attachment theory, and how these contribute to human development.”
Issues in Mental Health Nursing
“This master teacher makes neuroscience fascinating and accessible….This book is highly recommended to current and future clinicians.”
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
“The overall scope of the discussion is far-reaching and in many ways provocative, but the argument is persuasive and offers a broad overview of the range and complexity of issues confronting the emerging field of neuropsychoanalysis….[A] wealth of detailed information and a glimpse of what may become a vision of the future.”
The Scientific & Medical Network
“A very insightful exploration of the basic theories of interpersonal neurobiology. . . . This book makes a very valuable contribution to this much needed knowledge.”
Keeping in Touch: The United States Association for Body Psychotherapy Newsletter
An engaging introduction to the application of neuroscience to human behavior. I found it an absolute pleasure. . . . His deft interweaving of case examples with theory and physiology (illuminated by charts and drawings) makes the material easily digestible.
American Journal of Psychology
“This book is a pleasure to read. It is richly illustrated with clinical examples and synthesizes knowledge from the neurophysiological and psychological domains with psychological perspectives that will allow both seasoned clinicians and beginning therapists 'to integrate a brain-based understanding of human development, mental health, and mental illness' (p. 307) into their psychodynamic paradigms. The references are excellent. Best of all, the work reflects the author's ebullient spirit. . . . I recommend this book enthusiastically to all my colleagues. Over the past 6 months, I have found myself rereading chapters and enriching my own ability to integrate brain-mind areas that were previously isolated islands of thought.”
Keeping in Touch: The United States Association for Body Psychotherapy Newsletter
“An engaging introduction to the application of neuroscience to human behavior. I found it an absolute pleasure. . . . His deft interweaving of case examples with theory and physiology (illuminated by charts and drawings) makes the material easily digestible.”
Lonnie Zeltzer
“This book provides an excellent and easily understood story about the connections of social child development and neuroscience. This is a "must" for anyone interested in human behavior.”
Cristina Alberini
“Captivating and well written...a major contribution to the rapidly emerging field of neuro-psychoanalysis. Everyone practicing or interested in the emerging fields of mind and brain sciences should read it.”
Lise Elliot
“Lou Cozolino has created a comprehensive tour of the social brain, illuminating to both scientists and lay readers.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393707823
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/24/2014
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 518,597
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis Cozolino, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and a private practitioner. He is the author of The Healthy Aging Brain, The Neuroscience of Human Relationships, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, and The Making of a Therapist. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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