Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World

The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World

by Elkhonon Goldberg
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Elkhonon Goldberg's groundbreaking The Executive Brain was a classic of scientific writing, revealing how the frontal lobes command the most human parts of the mind. Now he offers a completely new book, providing fresh, iconoclastic ideas about the relationship between the brain and the mind.
In The New Executive Brain, Goldberg paints a sweeping panorama of cutting-edge thinking in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology, one that ranges far beyond the frontal lobes. Drawing on the latest discoveries, and developing complex scientific ideas and relating them to real life through many fascinating case studies and anecdotes, the author explores how the brain engages in complex decision-making; how it deals with novelty and ambiguity; and how it addresses moral choices. At every step, Goldberg challenges entrenched assumptions. For example, we know that the left hemisphere of the brain is the seat of language—but Goldberg argues that language may not be the central adaptation of the left hemisphere. Apes lack language, yet many also show evidence of asymmetric hemispheric development. Goldberg also finds that a complex interaction between the frontal lobes and the amygdale—between a recently evolved and a much older part of the brain—controls emotion, as conscious thoughts meet automatic impulses. The author illustrates this observation with a personal example: the difficulty he experienced when trying to pick up a baby alligator he knew to be harmless, as his amygdala battled his effort to extend his hand.
In the years since the original Executive Brain, Goldberg has remained at the front of his field, constantly challenging orthodoxy. In this revised and expanded edition, he affirms his place as one of our most creative and insightful scientists, offering lucid writing and bold, paradigm-shifting ideas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195329407
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 08/12/2009
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D. is Clinical Professor of Neurology, New York University School of Medicine. He was a student of the great Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria, and is the author of The Executive Brain and The Wisdom Paradox.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

1 Introduction 3

2 An End and a Beginning: A Dedication 9

3 The Brain's Chief Executive: The Frontal Lobes at a Glance 20

The Many Faces of Leadership 20

The Executive Lobe 21

4 Architecture of the Brain: A Primer 25

The Microscopic View 25

The Macroscopic View 27

The Command Post and Its Connections 33

5 The Orchestra's Front Row: The Cortex 37

Sounds and Players 37

Noah's Predicament and the Landscapes of the Brain 40

Neuropaganism: Module Madness 43

Cognitive Gradients and Cognitive Hierarchies 48

A Thing Is a Thing 52

A Word to a Thing 54

Cortical Gradients in the Frontal Lobes 56

Autonomy and Control in the Brain 59

6 Novelty, Routines, and Cerebral Hemispheres 63

A False Start 63

The New Paradigm 65

The Evidence 73

Lessons for Clinicians 80

Agnosias and Hemispheres 81

Executive Deficit and Hemispheres 85

7 The Conductor: A Closer Look at the Frontal Lobes 89

Novelty and the Frontal Lobes 89

Working Memory-or Working with Memory? 92

Freedom of Choice, Ambiguity, and the Frontal Lobes 98

Neuroeverything 109

8 Emotion and Cognition 115

The Emotional Frontal Lobes 115

Emotions, Novelty, and Cerebral Hemispheres 122

9 Different Lobes for Different Folks: Decision-Making Styles and the Frontal Lobes 124

The Neuropsychology of Individual Differences 124

Male and Female Cognitive Styles 125

Frontal Lobes, Hemispheres, and Cognitive Styles 129

Cognitive Styles and Brain Wiring 134

Rebels in Small Proportion: Handedness and Novelty Seeking 136

Executive Talents: The S Factor and the Theory of Mind 141

10 When the Leader Is Wounded 148

The Fragile Frontal Lobes148

Frontal Lobe Syndromes 150

Drive and Newtonian Bodies: A Dorsolateral Case Study 153

Plans and "Memories of the Future" 157

Rigidity of Mind 162

Mind Blindspot: Anosognosia 168

11 Social Maturity, Morality, Law, and the Frontal Lobes 171

Orbitofrontal "Pseudopsychopathic" Syndrome and the Loss of Self-Control 171

Social Maturity and the Frontal Lobes 173

Biological Maturation and Social Maturity: A Historical Puzzle 177

Frontal Lobe Damage and Criminal Behavior 179

The Hapless Robber 183

Frontal Lobe Damage and the Public Blindspot 186

12 Fateful Disconnections 189

The Fallen Horseman: A Case Study 189

Schizophrenia: A Connection That Was Never Made 195

Head Trauma: A Broken Connection 198

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Fragile Connection 200

ADHD Conquered: How Toby from Down Under Reclaimed Himself 206

Jerky Tics and Ticky Jokes 211

The Cortex and the Striatum 221

13 "What Can You Do for Me?" 228

"Cognotropic" Drugs 228

Aging Brain and Neuroplasticity 232

Neuroplasticity in Action 236

Jogging the Brain 239

History of Cognitive Rehabilitation 244

Brain Plasticity and Cognitive Exercise 245

Cognitive Fitness: Beginning of a Trend 249

14 Breaking and Entering: Inside the Black Box 252

Ramblings of a Dilettante 252

Machine in the Ghost 254

Dopamine, Memory, and the Bicameral Brain 257

Neural Networks and the Bicameral Brain: Models of Novelty-Routinization Dynamics 261

Complicate to Simplify 265

Further Complicate to Simplify: Front-Back, Neocortex-Hippocampi, Left-Right 270

15 Frontal Lobes and the Leadership Paradox 275

Autonomy and Control in Society 275

Autonomy and Control in the Digital World 279

16 Epilogue 282

References and Notes 291

Index 323

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