The Scientific American Book of the Brain

Overview

Arguably one of the most compelling and elusive territories of scientific research is the landscape of the human brain. From current research on the genetics of intelligence to new evidence being discovered in the battle against Parkinson's disease, the implications of the study of the human brain, and the equally fascinating human mind, are immense. The Scientific American Book of the Brain presents twenty-six cutting-edge articles on current brain research, by some of the biggest names working in the field: Is ...

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Overview

Arguably one of the most compelling and elusive territories of scientific research is the landscape of the human brain. From current research on the genetics of intelligence to new evidence being discovered in the battle against Parkinson's disease, the implications of the study of the human brain, and the equally fascinating human mind, are immense. The Scientific American Book of the Brain presents twenty-six cutting-edge articles on current brain research, by some of the biggest names working in the field: Is it true that most creative geniuses are plagued by a kind of madness? Kay Redfield Jamison reveals the link between creativity and mood disorders; are the brains of men and women equal in their capacity to learn and excel at cognitive tasks? Doreen Kimura puts forward scientific evidence that suggests men and women not only differ physically but also use different approaches to solve intellectual problems; how reliable is the human mind when it comes to memory? Elizabeth F. Loftus exposes how imagination and the power of suggestion can create "memories" of events that did not actually occur; why are certain children plagued by Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and what is the solution for such children? Russell A. Barkley posits that ADHD may arise when key brain circuits don't develop properly, perhaps because of an altered gene or genes. Introduced by Antonio R. Damasio and including chapters on mapping the brain; reasoning and intelligence; memory and learning; behavior; disease of the brain and disorder of the mind; and consciousness, The Scientific American Book of the Brain is a stimulating examination of today's most important and often controversial topics in brain research. (7 X 91/4, 356 pages, color photos, illustrations, charts, graphs)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Abundantly informative."—Booklist
Library Journal
Anthologies like these are reliable money-makers for publishers, but they are often regarded with ambivalence by librarians because their contents are reprints of articles usually available elsewhere. In these books, the editors of the venerable Scientific American have selected what they declare to be the "best" articles from recent issues and arranged them in topical sections--"Astronomy" has chapters on stars, galaxies, and the universe, for example. But this kind of organization lends only a superficial cohesiveness, because each of these articles was written to stand alone, and although each one covers its specific topic admirably, the sampling barely represents current knowledge in the broader field; most science reference librarians would be able to recommend any number of recent monographs that cover these subjects more comprehensively. Among these, ironically, would be two books by the scholars who wrote introductions to these volumes: Timothy Ferris's The Whole Shebang and Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error. Make no mistake, however: because of the books' high quality, they'd surely circulate in public libraries. Some of the articles (like Guth's piece on the inflationary universe, Rubin's on dark matter, Crick's on consciousness, and Nemeroff's on depression) might even be considered classics of popular science. Still, library budgets are lean; unless your library does not subscribe to Scientific American, this is an optional purchase.--Gregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib., Coral Gables, FL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
YA-What is the mechanism by which we see? How do we remember things, and why do some people recall things that never happened? Why do some people dazzle us with their intelligence while others struggle with the most basic learning tasks? Are male and female brains the same? Is homosexuality biologically based? Can Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases be prevented? For readers who wonder about the brain and the roles it plays in all human endeavors, this collection of articles on various aspects of research offers fascinating answers while raising new questions, both scientific and philosophical. It's worth noting that more than half of the articles were written before 1995 and have been culled from past issues of Scientific American magazine; given the pace of recent discoveries, the book may not represent the "waterfront of contemporary neuroscience" claimed in the introduction. Its wide range does offer students a smorgasbord of topics to explore and discuss. Surprisingly, it offers no resources for further study. Nevertheless, it's a worthwhile purchase for any high school in which advanced psychology and biology are studied.-Jan Tarasovic, West Springfield High School, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
Twenty-six articles first published in are arranged in sections on mapping the brain, reasoning and intelligence, memory and learning, behavior, disease of the brain and disorder of the mind, and consciousness. The authors, experts in the various aspects of neuroscience, address such topics as the genetics of cognitive abilities and disabilities, the split brain revisited, the neurobiology of fear, depression, Parkinson's disease, and the puzzle of conscious experience. The material is written at a level accessible to the serious lay person or nonspecialist. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585742851
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Series: Scientific American Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,454,722
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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