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Posts tagged with "Neuroscience"

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    From groggy teenagers to fatal narcolepsy, two tomes tackle the science of slumber

    Many of us have an ambivalent relationship with sleep. Although acknowledging its necessity, we begrudge these stolen hours of existence. Two new books provide a fresh perspective on this poorly understood phenomenon. Rather than being an “imperfection of our nature,” as extolled by physician Wilson Phillip in 1833, sleep emerges as critical to healthy bodily… Read More
  • The Neuroscience of Emotion: A New Synthesis
    Ralph Adolphs and David J. Anderson

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    A pair of neuroscientists finds that investigating emotions is easier done than said

    Ask a roomful of neuroscientists to define the term “emotion” and you will trigger a lively discussion. Some will argue that emotions involve conscious experiences that can be studied only in humans. Others might counter that insects and other invertebrates exhibit some of the emotion building blocks seen in mammals. Some will contend that different… Read More
  • Finding Einstein’s Brain
    Frederick E. Lepore

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    Finding Einstein’s Brain

    On the day of Albert Einstein’s death, an April morning in 1955, the pathologist Thomas Harvey performed an autopsy and, controversially, took possession of the physicist’s brain. Days later, Harvey convinced Einstein’s closest relatives of his purpose: to retain the brain for scientific research. Three decades passed, however, until the first work on Einstein’s brain… Read More
  • Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain
    Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

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    PODCAST: Q&A with Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, author of Inventing Ourselves

    Elusive, evasive, and uncommunicative, the human adolescent is among the most enigmatic subjects ever to be studied. This week on the Science podcast, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore delves into the teenage brain, revealing the extraordinary features that define this transitional state in human development. To hear the rest of the show, visit the Science podcast page. Read More
  • How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
    Michael Pollan

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    A revival in the scientific study of psychedelics prompts a journalist to take a trip

    Known for his writing on plants and food, Michael Pollan, in his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, brings all the curiosity and skepticism for which he is well known to a decidedly different topic: the psychedelic drugs d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin. In addition to being a balanced piece of journalistic science… Read More
  • The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery
    Barbara K. Lipska with Elaine McArdle

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    A neuroscientist’s battle with brain cancer prompts a personal reflection on identity and the disease process

    In The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind, Barbara Lipska shares the story of her firsthand experience with metastatic brain cancer. In doing so, she provides readers the opportunity to foster a “sense of connection with others who suffer” and to combat continued stigmatizing of mental illness. Lipska’s evolution as scientist, patient, and person explores the… Read More
  • The Monastery and the Microscope: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mind, Mindfulness, and the Nature of Reality
    Wendy Hasenkamp with Janna R. White, Eds.

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    The Monastery and the Microscope

    Although, on the surface, Buddhist contemplative tradition and Western science would appear to represent divergent perspectives, a closer look at these disciplines shows that they are both deeply rooted in the intellectual pursuit of knowledge and a desire to understand the complexities of human existence through empirically verified observations. Individuals from these two sectors who… Read More
  • The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between
    Abigail Marsh

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    The Fear Factor

    More than 20 years ago, the selfless act of a complete stranger affected the course of Abigail Marsh’s life. Now a social psychologist, in The Fear Factor, Marsh invites readers to join her as she explores the biology underlying extraordinary altruism. Translating technical papers into easily understood prose and incorporating personal stories, she answers the… Read More
  • Why: What Makes Us Curious
    Mario Livio

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    An inquisitive physicist delves into the psychology and neuroscience of human curiosity

    Was it really curiosity that killed the cat? In Why: What Makes Us Curious, astrophysicist Mario Livio provides the answer, although I won’t reveal it here (are you curious yet?). In the book, Livio explores curiosity by using inquisitive people, including scientists, artists, and philosophers, as anecdotal examples. He also presents ideas from psychological and… Read More
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