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The Brain: A Very Short Introduction af…
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The Brain: A Very Short Introduction (original 2005; udgave 2006)

af Michael O'Shea (Forfatter)

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262476,844 (3.63)Ingen
This is a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research. It gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain, and thought, memories, perceptions, and actions. Covering the details of brain science in an accessible style, it includes up to date coverage of developments of brain research, and suggests directions future research might take. The Brain also integrates discussion of the more familiar implications of the brain's actions, such as memories, perceptions, and motor control.Contents:Mind and brain: what's the problelm?Let's get physicalSight, sound, and imagination'Last week's potatoes!'Perception to actionAltered states of mindWhere do we go from here?… (mere)
Medlem:RZIMLibrary
Titel:The Brain: A Very Short Introduction
Forfattere:Michael O'Shea (Forfatter)
Info:Oxford University Press (2006), Edition: 1st, 144 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Brain: A Very Short Introduction af Michael O'Shea (2005)

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I feel like I did learn some things, even though I was vaguely aware of a few things about the brain before and despite not knowing nearly enough to follow most of it. I can’t believe I ever thought I’d make a good psychologist; I’m really not cut from this cloth, and the brain biology backing really is what people expect, I think.

Still, it’s nice to come into contact with a different affective strategy; sometimes gushing love/hate/fear can be exhausting.... I think it’s interesting that we can’t think—or compute, rather—as well (or as quickly, I think he said, technically) in certain ways as the higher machines, implying that we can’t find the bulk of our worth there. Our degree of commonality of mind, in certain aspects, at least, with the lower animals is also grounds for humility. And I liked ‘From the Big Bang to the big brain’; I felt like I understood it....

But I don’t understand most of it and I could never debate the value of a technical paper in this field. I think I’ll now go back to painting stick-figure deer on the walls of the cave here with my Cro-Magnon buddies.
  goosecap | Sep 6, 2020 |
What this book needs is a time machine.

It's obviously unfair to ask a science book from 2005 to reflect opinions from 2015, but even from a 2005 perspective, there were some holes -- e.g. its discussion of antidepressants could have been written around 1985, before the SSRIs (Prozac, etc.) came on the market; neither they nor their mechanism of action is discussed. It was wrong then, it is even more wrong now.

My guess is that this is because the author isn't really a student of abnormal psychology. There is a lot here about how the brain works, but not much about the various ways in which it doesn't work. I can't help but think that this is wrong. If you can't fix it, you don't understand it.

There are some other areas where time really has changed the situation -- e.g. we know that neurons in the brain do regenerate, and all the discussion on that point is simply wrong. We know more about organic brain conditions like autism -- and the book doesn't even lay much groundwork for those discoveries.

All this would be understandable if it were just a matter of the book being too short -- after all, it is a "very short" introduction! But the last section is basically speculative fiction about organic/cybernetic brain interfaces. Very little of this has come to pass, and there was never any real reason to think that it would. So this material was, in effect, several dozen pages of waste paper that could have been used for other things.

This isn't a bad book. The Very Short Introduction series is of consistently high quality, at least in the sciences (the ones I usually read). But, in this case, I really think you'd do better to get something newer -- newer in copyright date, and newer in the references it to compile the book. ( )
  waltzmn | Jun 30, 2015 |
Perhaps very short, but very informative, as well. O'Shea gives us a tour de force of the state of knowledge about the brain, and does so in an extremely accessible fashion. This is what one expects from Oxford University Press, however, which has always maintained high standards in their texts. Includes a very nice list of further readings (sorted by chapter subjects, making it easy to find additional readings on a particular topic of interest).

Highly recommended, and well worth the price (I read the Kindle version). ( )
  jpporter | Jul 16, 2012 |
Fine intro to the neural structure of the brain and its workings. Adding a couple of illustrations would have made some of the descriptions more comprehensible. ( )
  mschaefer | May 31, 2007 |
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To my children Annie and Jack. And to my daughter Linda who died because not enough was known about what to do when stuff goes seriously wrong in the brain. I hope that some day we shall know enough.
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Chapter 1
Thinking about the Brain
Think for a few moments about a very special machine, your brain — an organ of just 1.2 kg, containing one hundred billion nerve cells, none of which alone has any idea who or what you are.
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This is a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research. It gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain, and thought, memories, perceptions, and actions. Covering the details of brain science in an accessible style, it includes up to date coverage of developments of brain research, and suggests directions future research might take. The Brain also integrates discussion of the more familiar implications of the brain's actions, such as memories, perceptions, and motor control.Contents:Mind and brain: what's the problelm?Let's get physicalSight, sound, and imagination'Last week's potatoes!'Perception to actionAltered states of mindWhere do we go from here?

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