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Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, gives us an exciting behind-the-scenes look at his seminal work on that unlikely couple, the right and left brain. Foreword by Steven Pinker. In the mid-twentieth century, Michael S. Gazzaniga, “the father of cognitive neuroscience,” was part of a team of pioneering neuroscientists who developed the now foundational split-brain brain theory: the notion that the right and left hemispheres of the brain can act independently from one another and have different strengths. In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms—the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.
The prevailing orthodoxy in brain science is that since physical laws govern our physical brains, physical laws therefore govern our behaviour and even our conscious selves. Free will is meaningless, goes the mantra; we live in a 'determined' world. Not so, argues the renowned neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga as he explains how the mind, 'constrains' the brain just as cars are constrained by the traffic they create. Writing with what Steven Pinker has called 'his trademark wit and lack of pretension,' Gazzaniga ranges across neuroscience, psychology and ethics to show how incorrect it is to blame our brains for our behaviour. Even given the latest insights into the physical mechanisms of the mind, he explains, we are responsible agents who should be held accountable for our actions, because responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains. An extraordinary book, combining a light touch with profound implications, Who's in Charge? is a lasting contribution from one of the leading thinkers of our time.
With extensive video footage of his trailblazing cognitive experiments, Michael Gazzaniga—the “father of cognitive neuroscience”—illuminates the discoveries behind his groundbreaking work in this enhanced digital edition of Tales from Both Sides of the Brain. Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, gives us an exciting behind-the-scenes look at his seminal work on that unlikely couple, the right and left brain. Foreword by Steven Pinker. In the mid-twentieth century, Michael S. Gazzaniga, “the father of cognitive neuroscience,” was part of a team of pioneering neuroscientists who developed the now foundational split-brain brain theory: the notion that the right and left hemispheres of the brain can act independently from one another and have different strengths. In Tales from Both Sides of the Brain, Gazzaniga tells the impassioned story of his life in science and his decades-long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. By turns humorous and moving, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain interweaves Gazzaniga’s scientific achievements with his reflections on the challenges and thrills of working as a scientist. In his engaging and accessible style, he paints a vivid portrait not only of his discovery of split-brain theory, but also of his comrades in arms—the many patients, friends, and family who have accompanied him on this wild ride of intellectual discovery.
Language is one of our most precious and uniquely human capacities, so it is not surprising that research on its neural substrates has been advancing quite rapidly in recent years. Until now, however, there has not been a single introductory textbook that focuses specifically on this topic. Cognitive Neuroscience of Language fills that gap by providing an up-to-date, wide-ranging, and pedagogically practical survey of the most important developments in the field. It guides students through all of the major areas of investigation, beginning with fundamental aspects of brain structure and function, and then proceeding to cover aphasia syndromes, the perception and production of speech, the processing of language in written and signed modalities, the meanings of words, and the formulation and comprehension of complex expressions, including grammatically inflected words, complete sentences, and entire stories. Drawing heavily on prominent theoretical models, the core chapters illustrate how such frameworks are supported, and sometimes challenged, by experiments employing diverse brain mapping techniques. Although much of the content is inherently challenging and intended primarily for graduate or upper-level undergraduate students, it requires no previous knowledge of either neuroscience or linguistics, defining technical terms and explaining important principles from both disciplines along the way.
An essential reconsideration of one of the most far-reaching theories in modern neuroscience and psychology. In 1992, a group of neuroscientists from Parma, Italy, reported a new class of brain cells discovered in the motor cortex of the macaque monkey. These cells, later dubbed mirror neurons, responded equally well during the monkey’s own motor actions, such as grabbing an object, and while the monkey watched someone else perform similar motor actions. Researchers speculated that the neurons allowed the monkey to understand others by simulating their actions in its own brain. Mirror neurons soon jumped species and took human neuroscience and psychology by storm. In the late 1990s theorists showed how the cells provided an elegantly simple new way to explain the evolution of language, the development of human empathy, and the neural foundation of autism. In the years that followed, a stream of scientific studies implicated mirror neurons in everything from schizophrenia and drug abuse to sexual orientation and contagious yawning. In The Myth of Mirror Neurons, neuroscientist Gregory Hickok reexamines the mirror neuron story and finds that it is built on a tenuous foundation—a pair of codependent assumptions about mirror neuron activity and human understanding. Drawing on a broad range of observations from work on animal behavior, modern neuroimaging, neurological disorders, and more, Hickok argues that the foundational assumptions fall flat in light of the facts. He then explores alternative explanations of mirror neuron function while illuminating crucial questions about human cognition and brain function: Why do humans imitate so prodigiously? How different are the left and right hemispheres of the brain? Why do we have two visual systems? Do we need to be able to talk to understand speech? What’s going wrong in autism? Can humans read minds? The Myth of Mirror Neurons not only delivers an instructive tale about the course of scientific progress—from discovery to theory to revision—but also provides deep insights into the organization and function of the human brain and the nature of communication and cognition.
In this instant New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback, renowned neurologist Dr. Frances E. Jensen offers a revolutionary look at the brains of teenagers, dispelling myths and “offer[ing] support and a way for parents to understand and relate to their own soon-to-be-adult offspring” (Publishers Weekly). Drawing on her research knowledge and clinical experience, this internationally respected neurologist—and mother of two boys—offers a revolutionary look at the adolescent brain, providing remarkable insights that translate into practical advice for both parents and teenagers. Driven by the assumption that brain growth was almost complete by the time a child began kindergarten, scientists believed for many years that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one—only with fewer miles on it. Over the past decade, however, neurology and neuropsychology research has shown that the teen years encompass vitally important physiological and neurological stages of brain development. Motivated by her experience of parenting two teenage boys, Dr. Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain functioning, wiring and capacity and, in this groundbreaking, accessible book, explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel commonly held myths about the teenage years, but also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious and magical world of adolescence. With insights drawn from her years as a parent, clinician and researcher, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brains at work in learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction and decision-making. The Teenage Brain explains why teenagers are not as resilient to the effects of drugs as we previously thought; reveals how multitasking impacts learning ability and concentration; and examines the consequences of emotionally stressful situations on mental health during and beyond adolescence. Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds light on the brains—and behaviors—of adolescents and young adults, and analyzes this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents, educators and even the legal system can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood in our ever challenging world.
An introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system that emphasizes the history of experiments and observations that led to modern neuroscientific knowledge.

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