Synopses & Reviews
A new theory of how the brain constructs emotions that could revolutionize psychology, health care, law enforcement, and our understanding of the human mind
Emotions feel automatic to us; that’s why scientists have long assumed that emotions are hardwired in the body or the brain. Today, however, the science of emotion is in the midst of a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics and natural selection in biology. This paradigm shift has far-reaching implications not only for psychology but also medicine, the legal system, airport security, child-rearing, and even meditation. Leading the charge is psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, whose theory of emotion is driving a deeper understanding of the mind and brain, and what it means to be human. Her research overturns the widely held belief that emotions are housed in different parts of the brain, and are universally expressed and recognized. Instead, emotion is constructed in the moment by core systems interacting across the whole brain, aided by a lifetime of learning. Are emotions more than automatic reactions? Does rational thought really control emotion? How does emotion affect disease? How can you make your children more emotionally intelligent? How Emotions Are Made reveals the latest research and intriguing practical applications of the new science of emotion, mind, and brain.
"Antonio Damasio has done it again! Writing for the layman as well as the scientist, he constructs a compelling solution to the problem of consciousness."—Victoria Fromkin, UCLA
"This is an extraordinary book. I know of nothing like it."—Jerome Kagan, Harvard University
"There is no simpler way to say this: read the book to learn who you are."—Jorie Graham, Poet and Pulitzer Prize Winner
"Everyone will be talking about it; everyone will have to read it."—Patricia and Paul Churchland, UCSD
"One of the best brain stories of the decade...A must read book for anyone wanting a neurologist's perspective on one of the great unsolved mysteries."and#8212;The New York Times
"Stunning...Unashamedly grapples with these issues, and in the process provides the first truly compelling neurobiological account of the self."and#8212;Nature
"Both Descartes' Error and The Feeling of What Happens are essential reading. They are ground-breaking classics of psychology and neuroscience. These are books to buy, keep and ponder upon."and#8212;Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
"A tour de force of intuition, investigation and integration."and#8212;Sunday Times (London)
"What makes his views so noteworthy is that they're grounded not in theoretical musings but in years of clinical research."and#8212;Time
"This is not casual reading, but eventually anyone can master it; it will change your experience of yourself."and#8212;The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
"A landmark in the interdisciplinary project of consciousness research."and#8212;Scientific American
"Damasio is just the one to show you how fascinating you really are."and#8212;The Bloomsbury Review
The publication of this book is an event in the making. All over the world scientists, psychologists, and philosophers are waiting to read Antonio Damasio's new theory of the nature of consciousness and the construction of the self. A renowned and revered scientist and clinician, Damasio has spent decades following amnesiacs down hospital corridors, waiting for comatose patients to awaken, and devising ingenious research using PET scans to piece together the great puzzle of consciousness. In his bestselling Descartes' Error, Damasio revealed the critical importance of emotion in the making of reason. Building on this foundation, he now shows how consciousness is created. Consciousness is the feeling of what happens-our mind noticing the body's reaction to the world and responding to that experience. Without our bodies there can be no consciousness, which is at heart a mechanism for survival that engages body, emotion, and mind in the glorious spiral of human life. A hymn to the possibilities of human existence, a magnificent work of ingenious science, a gorgeously written book, The Feeling of What Happens is already being hailed as a classic.
Antonio Damasio examines the biological roots of consciousness and its role in our survival in The Feeling of What Happens.
How is it that we know what we know? How is it that our conscious and private minds have a sense of self? A gifted medical clinician and scientific thinker, Damasio helps readers to ask and answer questions about what it is to be human. His elegant investigation of feeling and emotion offers a new understanding of the conscious mind and, as the New York Times has noted, and#8220;will change your experience of yourself.and#8221;and#160;
A new theory of how the brain constructs emotions that could revolutionize psychology, health care, law enforcement, and our understanding of the human mind.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 336-365) and index.
About the Author
LISA FELDMAN BARRETT, Ph.D., is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Psychiatry and Radiology. She received a NIH Director's Pioneer Award for her research on emotion in the brain. She lives in Boston.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Stepping into the light -- Feeling and knowing. Emotion and feeling -- Core consciousness -- The hint half hinted -- A biology for knowing. The organism and the object -- The making of core consciousness -- Extended consciousness -- The neurology of consciousness -- Bound to know. Feeling feelings -- Using consciousness -- Under the light -- Appendix. Notes on mind and brain.