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Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

by

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"As you read this review, your brain is undergoing changes by the millisecond. These words and sentences are stimulating ideas and emotions based on your brain's current organization and content, which are reflective of all your experiences up to the present moment. Additional changes will occur as you proceed down this column of type." Richard Restak, The Wilson Quarterly (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

One of the most important and original neuroscientists at work today tackles a question that has confounded neurologists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, and psychologists for centuries: how consciousness is created.

Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years studying and writing about how the brain operates, and his work has garnered acclaim for its singular melding of the scientific and the humanistic. In this revelatory work, he debunks the long-standing idea that consciousness is somehow separate from the body, presenting astounding new scientific evidence that consciousness — what we think of as "self" — is in fact a biological process created by the brain. Besides the three traditional perspectives used to study the mind (the personal, the behavioral, and the neurological), Damasio introduces the evolutionary perspective, which entails a radical change in the way the history of conscious minds is viewed and told.

Self Comes to Mind is a groundbreaking investigation of consciousness as a dynamic, unpredictable faculty that is instrumental in defining and explaining who we understand ourselves to be.

Review:

"As he has done previously, USC neuroscientist Damasio (Descartes' Error) explores the process that leads to consciousness. And as he has also done previously, he alternates between some exquisite passages that represent the best popular science has to offer and some technical verbiage that few will be able to follow. He draws meaningful distinctions among points on the continuum from brain to mind, consciousness to self, constantly attempting to understand the evolutionary reasons why each arose and attempting to tie each to an underlying physical reality. Damasio goes to great lengths to explain that many species, such as social insects, have minds, but humans are distinguished by the 'autobiographical self,' which adds flexibility and creativity, and has led to the development of culture, a 'radical novelty' in natural history. Damasio ends with a speculative chapter on the evolutionary process by which mind developed and then gave rise to self. In the Pleistocene, he suggests, humans developed emotive responses to shapes and sounds that helped lead to the development of the arts. Readers fascinated from both a philosophical and scientific perspective with the question of the relationships among brain, mind, and self will be rewarded for making the effort to follow Damasio's arguments. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"The marvel of reading Damasio's book is to be convinced one can follow the brain at work as it makes the private reality that is the deepest self." V.S. Naipaul, Nobel Laureate and author of A Bend in the River and the Enigma of Arrival

Review:

"Exquisite...Readers fascinated from both a philosophical and scientific perspective with the question of the relationship among brain, mind, and self will be rewarded." Publishers Weekly

Review:

“I was totally captivated by Self Comes to Mind. In this work Antonio Damasio presents his seminal discoveries in the field of neuroscience in the broader contexts of evolutionary biology and cultural development. This trailblazing book gives us a new way of thinking about ourselves, our history, and the importance of culture in shaping our common future.” Yo-Yo Ma, musician

Review:

“In this astonishing work, Antonio Damasio puts his years of investigation into the processes of the brain to open the impenetrable mysteries of self and mind, where all the contradictions of human experience unite in the ultimate unknown, consciousness.” Peter Brook, theater and film director and author of The Empty Space and Threads of Time

Review:

“Awareness may be mostly mystery, but Damasio shapes its hints and glimmerings into an imaginative, informed narrative.” Kirkus

Review:

"A very interesting book...cogent, painstaking, imaginative, knowledgeable, honest, and persuasive...Damasio’s quest is both thorough and comprehensive." New York Journal of Books

Review:

Self Comes to Mind is a Big Idea book penned by a luminous thinker...The result is this beautifully sprawling and marvelous work.” The Dallas Morning News

Synopsis:

One of the most important and original neuroscientists at work today tackles a question that has confounded neurologists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, and psychologists for centuries: how consciousness is created.

Synopsis:

From one of the most significant neuroscientists at work today, a pathbreaking investigation of a question that has confounded philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists for centuries: how is consciousness created?

 

Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years studying and writing about how the brain operates, and his work has garnered acclaim for its singular melding of the scientific and the humanistic. In Self Comes to Mind, he goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is somehow separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness—what we think of as a mind with a self—is to begin with a biological process created by a living organism. Besides the three traditional perspectives used to study the mind (the introspective, the behavioral, and the neurological), Damasio introduces an evolutionary perspective that entails a radical change in the way the history of conscious minds is viewed and told. He also advances a radical hypothesis regarding the origins and varieties of feelings, which is central to his framework for the biological construction of consciousness: feelings are grounded in a near fusion of body and brain networks, and first emerge from the historically old and humble brain stem rather than from the modern cerebral cortex.

 

Damasio suggests that the brain’s development of a human self becomes a challenge to nature’s indifference and opens the way for the appearance of culture, a radical break in the course of evolution and the source of a new level of life regulation—sociocultural homeostasis. He leaves no doubt that the blueprint for the work-in-progress he calls sociocultural homeostasis is the genetically well-established basic homeostasis, the curator of value that has been present in simple life-forms for billions of years. Self Comes to Mind is a groundbreaking journey into the neurobiological foundations of mind and self.

About the Author

Antonio Damasio is David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Neurology, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. Damasio's books include Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain; The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness; and Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. He has received the Pessoa, Signoret, and Cozzarelli prizes (shared with his wife, Hanna), and the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. Damasio is a fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307378750
Subtitle:
Constructing the Conscious Brain
Author:
Damasio, Antonio
Publisher:
Pantheon
Subject:
Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Subject:
Neuroscience
Subject:
Human Physiology
Subject:
Life Sciences - Neuroscience
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Anatomy and Physiology
Publication Date:
20101109
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.64 x 6.66 x 1.27 in 1.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Brain
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Neurobiology

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Pantheon - English 9780307378750 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "As he has done previously, USC neuroscientist Damasio (Descartes' Error) explores the process that leads to consciousness. And as he has also done previously, he alternates between some exquisite passages that represent the best popular science has to offer and some technical verbiage that few will be able to follow. He draws meaningful distinctions among points on the continuum from brain to mind, consciousness to self, constantly attempting to understand the evolutionary reasons why each arose and attempting to tie each to an underlying physical reality. Damasio goes to great lengths to explain that many species, such as social insects, have minds, but humans are distinguished by the 'autobiographical self,' which adds flexibility and creativity, and has led to the development of culture, a 'radical novelty' in natural history. Damasio ends with a speculative chapter on the evolutionary process by which mind developed and then gave rise to self. In the Pleistocene, he suggests, humans developed emotive responses to shapes and sounds that helped lead to the development of the arts. Readers fascinated from both a philosophical and scientific perspective with the question of the relationships among brain, mind, and self will be rewarded for making the effort to follow Damasio's arguments. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review A Day" by , "As you read this review, your brain is undergoing changes by the millisecond. These words and sentences are stimulating ideas and emotions based on your brain's current organization and content, which are reflective of all your experiences up to the present moment. Additional changes will occur as you proceed down this column of type." (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)
"Review" by , "The marvel of reading Damasio's book is to be convinced one can follow the brain at work as it makes the private reality that is the deepest self."
"Review" by , "Exquisite...Readers fascinated from both a philosophical and scientific perspective with the question of the relationship among brain, mind, and self will be rewarded."
"Review" by , “I was totally captivated by Self Comes to Mind. In this work Antonio Damasio presents his seminal discoveries in the field of neuroscience in the broader contexts of evolutionary biology and cultural development. This trailblazing book gives us a new way of thinking about ourselves, our history, and the importance of culture in shaping our common future.”
"Review" by , “In this astonishing work, Antonio Damasio puts his years of investigation into the processes of the brain to open the impenetrable mysteries of self and mind, where all the contradictions of human experience unite in the ultimate unknown, consciousness.”
"Review" by , “Awareness may be mostly mystery, but Damasio shapes its hints and glimmerings into an imaginative, informed narrative.”
"Review" by , "A very interesting book...cogent, painstaking, imaginative, knowledgeable, honest, and persuasive...Damasio’s quest is both thorough and comprehensive."
"Review" by , Self Comes to Mind is a Big Idea book penned by a luminous thinker...The result is this beautifully sprawling and marvelous work.”
"Synopsis" by , One of the most important and original neuroscientists at work today tackles a question that has confounded neurologists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, and psychologists for centuries: how consciousness is created.
"Synopsis" by , From one of the most significant neuroscientists at work today, a pathbreaking investigation of a question that has confounded philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists for centuries: how is consciousness created?

 

Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years studying and writing about how the brain operates, and his work has garnered acclaim for its singular melding of the scientific and the humanistic. In Self Comes to Mind, he goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is somehow separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness—what we think of as a mind with a self—is to begin with a biological process created by a living organism. Besides the three traditional perspectives used to study the mind (the introspective, the behavioral, and the neurological), Damasio introduces an evolutionary perspective that entails a radical change in the way the history of conscious minds is viewed and told. He also advances a radical hypothesis regarding the origins and varieties of feelings, which is central to his framework for the biological construction of consciousness: feelings are grounded in a near fusion of body and brain networks, and first emerge from the historically old and humble brain stem rather than from the modern cerebral cortex.

 

Damasio suggests that the brain’s development of a human self becomes a challenge to nature’s indifference and opens the way for the appearance of culture, a radical break in the course of evolution and the source of a new level of life regulation—sociocultural homeostasis. He leaves no doubt that the blueprint for the work-in-progress he calls sociocultural homeostasis is the genetically well-established basic homeostasis, the curator of value that has been present in simple life-forms for billions of years. Self Comes to Mind is a groundbreaking journey into the neurobiological foundations of mind and self.

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