You can now place requests for physical library materials on this website. Be advised that items recently returned to the library may continue to appear on your account for a few days. For the safety of library customers and staff, returned materials are quarantined for a minimum of 96 hours before they are checked in. Please contact your local library for hold pickup instructions, or to ask any questions about returned items.

Mapping the mind

by Carter, Rita.

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection q RC386.6.B7 C37 1998
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
 
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
 
Call Number  q RC386.6.B7 C37 1998
 
 
Summary
Today a brain scan reveals our thoughts, moods, and memories as clearly as an X-ray reveals our bones. We can actually observe a person's brain registering a joke or experiencing a painful memory. Drawing on the latest imaging technology and the expertise of distinguished scientists, Rita Carter explores the geography of the human brain. Her writing is clear, accessible, witty, and the book's 150 illustrations--most in color--present an illustrated guide to that wondrous, coconut-sized, wrinkled gray mass we carry inside our heads.

Mapping the Mind charts the way human behavior and culture have been molded by the landscape of the brain. Carter shows how our personalities reflect the biological mechanisms underlying thought and emotion and how behavioral eccentricities may be traced to abnormalities in an individual brain. Obsessions and compulsions seem to be caused by a stuck neural switch in a region that monitors the environment for danger. Addictions stem from dysfunction in the brain's reward system. Even the sense of religious experience has been linked to activity in a certain brain region. The differences between men and women's brains, the question of a "gay brain," and conditions such as dyslexia, autism, and mania are also explored.

Looking inside the brain, writes Carter, we see that actions follow from our perceptions, which are due to brain activity dictated by a neuronal structure formed from the interplay between our genes and the environment. Without sidestepping the question of free will, Carter suggests that future generations will use our increasing knowledge of the brain to "enhance those mental qualities that give sweetness and meaning to our lives, and to eradicate those that are destructive."
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Carter, a distinguished English medical journalist, has written a handsome and very accessible book designed to introduce laypeople to contemporary neurochemistry, neurobiology and brain research. Carter shows how this research has traced emotions, impressions, thoughts and behaviors‘from tasting a sprig of thyme to solving a math problem to killing an intruder‘to particular parts of the brain. Descriptions of normal brain function are interspersed with details about the research and about extraordinary, illuminating cases: of the woman to whom the name "Richard" tasted like chocolate, of the man who tried to have sex with a sidewalk. Readers learn that sense-data from the eyes and ears go first to the thalamus; that falling in love may be caused by a single chemical called oxytocin; and that one thinker, Itzhak Fried, has hypothesized "syndrome E," a neurobiological disorder, in young men who carry out genocides. Mixing established knowledge with new speculations, Carter takes care to tell readers which is which. She strews her text with bright diagrams and pictures, and avoids specialized or technical language: readers of Scientific American, or even of Oliver Sacks, may find themselves wishing for more detail. Carter seems to be writing for adults and teens who don't know the field and want to learn it, and she does it right. Short inset essays (some by distinguished scientists, others by Carter) address such specific topics as the chemistry of drug addiction, the origins of autism and alleged differences between gay and straight brains. 100 color & 50 b&w illustrations. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Brain -- Localization of functions -- Popular works.
Neuropsychology -- Popular works.
Brain mapping -- Popular works.
Publisher Berkeley :University of California Press,1998
Language English
Description 224 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 215-220) and index.
ISBN 0520219376
Other Classic View