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Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Areby Joseph Ledoux
Synopses & Reviews
“This is complicated stuff, and it is a testament to Dr. Seung’s remarkable clarity of exposition that the reader is swept along with his enthusiasm, as he moves from the basics of neuroscience out to the farthest regions of the hypothetical, sketching out a spectacularly illustrated giant map of the universe of man.”—Abigail Zuger, M.D., New York Times
Every person is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, that uniqueness resides. Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our character. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: how?
Sebastian Seung is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells—our particular wiring. Seung and a dedicated group of researchers are leading the effort to map these connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It’s a monumental effort, but if they succeed, they will uncover the basis of personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and perhaps disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story that presents a daring scientific and technological vision for understanding what makes us who we are, both as individuals and as a species.
“Accessible, witty, imminently logical and at times poetic, Connectome establishes Seung as an important new researcher, philosopher and popularizer of brain science. It puts him on par with cosmology’s Brian Greene and the late Carl Sagan.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
The audacious effort to map the brain—and along with it our mental afflictions, from autism to schizophrenia—by a rising star in neuroscience.
A comprehensive and accessible exploration of anxiety, from a leading neuroscientist and the author of Synaptic Self
Collectively, anxiety disorders are our most prevalent psychiatric problem, affecting about forty million adults in the United States. In Anxious, Joseph LeDoux, whose NYU lab has been at the forefront of research efforts to understand and treat fear and anxiety, explains the range of these disorders, their origins, and discoveries that can restore sufferers to normalcy.
LeDouxand#8217;s groundbreaking premise is that weand#8217;ve been thinking about fear and anxiety in the wrong way. These are not innate states waiting to be unleashed from the brain, but experiences that we assemble cognitively. Treatment of these problems must address both their conscious manifestations and underlying non-conscious processes. While knowledge about how the brain works will help us discover new drugs, LeDoux argues that the greatest breakthroughs may come from using brain research to help reshape psychotherapy.
A major work on our most pressing mental health issue, Anxious explains the science behind fear and anxiety disorders.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 359-392) and index.
About the Author
Joseph LeDoux is Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University's Center for Neural Sciences. He is the author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life and coauthor (with Michael Gazzaniga) of The Integrated Mind.
Table of Contents
Synaptic Self Acknowledgments
1. The Big One
2. Seeking The Self
3. The Most Unaccountable Of Machinery
4. Building The Brain
5. Adventures In Time
6. Small Change
7. The Mental Trilogy
8. The Emotional Brain Revisited
9. The Lost World
10. Synaptic Sickness
11. Who Are You?
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