Memory: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Jonathan K. Foster
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192806750
Category: Philosophy
Page: 142
View: 3862

Continue Reading →

This Very Short Introduction brings together the latest research in neuroscience and psychology - weaving in case-studies, anecdotes, literature, and philosophy - to explore and explain the science of memory - how it works, and why we can't live without it.

Photography: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Steve Edwards
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577561
Category: Photography
Page: 176
View: 8120

Continue Reading →

Photographs are an integral part of our daily lives from sensationalist images in tabloid papers and snapshots, to art photograpy displayed in galleries and sold through international art markets. In this thought-provoking exploration of the subject, Edwards combines a sense of the historical development of photography with an analysis of its purpose and meaning within a wider cultural context. He interrogates the way we look and think about photographs, and considers such issues as truth and recording, objectivity and fine art, identity and memory. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Dreaming: A Very Short Introduction


Author: J. Allan Hobson
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019157760X
Category: Psychology
Page: 168
View: 4534

Continue Reading →

What is dreaming, and what causes it? Why are dreams so strange and why are they so hard to remember? Replacing dream mystique with modern dream science, J. Allan Hobson provides a new and increasingly complete picture of how dreaming is created by the brain. Focusing on dreaming to explain the mechanisms of sleep, this book explores how the new science of dreaming is affecting theories in psychoanalysis, and how it is helping our understanding of the causes of mental illness. J. Allan Hobson investigates his own dreams to illustrate and explain some of the fascinating discoveries of modern sleep science, while challenging some of the traditionally accepted theories about the meaning of dreams. He reveals how dreaming maintains and develops the mind, why we go crazy in our dreams in order to avoid doing so when we are awake, and why sleep is not just good for health but essential for life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Learning


Author: Mark Haselgrove
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199688362
Category: Psychology
Page: 144
View: 3250

Continue Reading →

What is learning? How does it take place? What happens when it goes wrong? The topic of learning has been central to the development of the science of psychology since its inception. Without learning there can be no memory, no language and no intelligence. Indeed it is rather difficult to imagine a part of psychology, or neuroscience, that learning does not touch upon. In this Very Short Introduction Mark Haselgrove describes learning from the perspective of associative theories of classical and instrumental conditioning, and considers why these are the dominant, and best described analyses of learning in contemporary psychology. Tracing the origins of these theories, he discusses the techniques used to study learning in both animals and humans, and considers the importance of learning for animal behaviour and survival. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Emotion: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Dylan Evans
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579319
Category: Psychology
Page: 160
View: 833

Continue Reading →

Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Perception: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Brian J. Rogers,Brian Rogers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198791003
Category:
Page: 184
View: 9016

Continue Reading →

Perception is one of the oldest and most deeply investigated topics in the field of psychology, and it also raises some profound philosophical questions. It is concerned with how we use the information reaching our senses to guide and control our behavior as well as to create our particular, subjective experiences of the surrounding world. In this Very Short Introduction, Brian J. Rogers discusses the philosophical question of what it means to perceive, as well as describing how we are able to perceive the particular characteristics of objects and scenes such as their lightness, color, form, depth, and motion. What we perceive, however, does not always correspond to what exists in the world and, as Rogers shows, the study of illusions can be useful in telling us something about the nature and limitations of our perceptual processes. Rogers also explores perception from an evolutionary perspective, explaining how evolutionary pressures have shaped the perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He shows that perception is not necessarily a separate and independent process but rather part of a "perceptual system," involving both the extraction of perceptual information and the control of action. Rogers goes on to cover the significant progress made recently in the understanding of perception through the use of precise and controlled psychophysical methods, single cell recordings, and imaging techniques. There have also been many insights from attempts to model perceptual processes in artificial systems. As Rogers shows, these attempts have revealed how difficult it is to program machines to perform even the most simple of perceptual tasks that we take for granted. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Consciousness: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Susan Blackmore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198794738
Category: Philosophy
Page: 152
View: 1031

Continue Reading →

Consciousness, "the last great mystery for science," remains a hot topic. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are continuing the debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories, whilst also outlining the amazing pace of discoveries in neuroscience. Covering areas such as the construction of self in the brain, mechanisms of attention, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the physiology of altered states of consciousness, Susan Blackmore highlights our latest findings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Immune System: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Paul Klenerman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019875390X
Category: Medical
Page: 144
View: 1130

Continue Reading →

The immune system is central to human health and the focus of much medical research. Growing understanding of the immune system, and especially the creation of immune memory (long lasting protection), which can be harnessed in the design of vaccines, have been major breakthroughs in medicine. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul Klenerman describes the immune system, and how it works in health and disease. In particular he focuses on the human immune system, considering how it evolved, the basic rules that govern its behavior, and the major health threats where it is important. The immune system comprises a series of organs, cells and chemical messengers which work together as a team to provide defence against infection. Klenerman discusses these components, the critical signals that trigger them and how they exert their protective effects, including so-called "innate" immune responses, which react very fast to infection, and "adaptive" immune responses, which have huge diversity and a capacity to recognize and defend against a massive array of micro-organisms. Klenerman also considers what happens when our immune systems fail to be activated effectively, leading to serious infections, problems with inherited diseases, and also HIV/AIDS. At the opposite extreme, as Klenerman shows, an over-exaggerated immune response leads to inflammatory diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as allergy and asthma. Finally he looks at the "Immune system v2.o" - how immune therapies and vaccines can be advanced to protect us against the major diseases of the 21st century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Psychology: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Gillian Butler,Freda McManus
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199670420
Category: Psychology
Page: 148
View: 6513

Continue Reading →

Psychology is part of everyone's experience: it influences the way we think about everything from education and intelligence, to relationships and emotions, advertising and criminality. People readily behave as amateur psychologists, offering explanations for what people think, feel, and do. But what exactly are psychologists trying to do? This Very Short Introduction explores some of psychology's leading ideas and their practical relevance. In this newedition, Gillian Butler and Freda McManus explore a variety of new topics and ways of studying the brain.Exploring some of the most important advances and developments in psychology - from evolutionarypsychology and issues surrounding adolescence and aggression to cognitive psychology - this is a stimulating introduction for anyone interested in understanding the human mind.

The Brain: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Michael O'Shea
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192853929
Category: Health & Fitness
Page: 136
View: 668

Continue Reading →

This is a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research. It gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain, and thought, memories, perceptions, and actions. Covering the details of brain science in an accessible style, it includes up to date coverage of developments of brain research, and suggests directions future research might take. The Brain also integrates discussion of the more familiar implications of the brain's actions, such as memories, perceptions, and motor control.Contents:Mind and brain: what's the problelm?Let's get physicalSight, sound, and imagination'Last week's potatoes!'Perception to actionAltered states of mindWhere do we go from here?

Economics: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Partha Dasgupta
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578281
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 192
View: 7228

Continue Reading →

Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Cognitive Neuroscience


Author: Richard Passingham
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198786220
Category:
Page: 152
View: 6532

Continue Reading →

Up to the 1960s, psychology was deeply under the influence of behaviourism, which focused on stimuli and responses, and regarded consideration of what may happen in the mind as unapproachable scientifically. This began to change with the devising of methods to try to tap into what was going on in the 'black box' of the mind, and the development of 'cognitive psychology'. With the study of patients who had suffered brain damage or injury to limited parts of the brain, outlines of brain components and processes began to take shape, and by the end of the 1970s, a new science, cognitive neuroscience, was born. But it was with the development of ways of accessing activation of the working brain using imaging techniques such as PET and fMRI that cognitive neuroscience came into its own, as a science cutting across psychology and neuroscience, with strong connections to philosophy of mind. Experiments involving subjects in scanners while doing various tasks, thinking, problem solving, and remembering are shedding light on the brain processes involved. The research is exciting and new, and often makes media headlines. But there is much misunderstanding about what brain imaging tells us, and the interpretation of studies on cognition. In this Very Short Introduction Richard Passingham, a distinguished cognitive neuroscientist, gives a provocative and exciting account of the nature and scope of this relatively new field, and the techniques available to us, focusing on investigation of the human brain. He explains what brain imaging shows, pointing out common misconceptions, and gives a brief overview of the different aspects of human cognition: perceiving, attending, remembering, reasoning, deciding, and acting. Passingham concludes with a discussion of the exciting advances that may lie ahead. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Jonathan Bate
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191614297
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 192
View: 1560

Continue Reading →

Sweeping across two millennia and every literary genre, acclaimed scholar and biographer Jonathan Bate provides a dazzling introduction to English Literature. The focus is wide, shifting from the birth of the novel and the brilliance of English comedy to the deep Englishness of landscape poetry and the ethnic diversity of Britain's Nobel literature laureates. It goes on to provide a more in-depth analysis, with close readings from an extraordinary scene in King Lear to a war poem by Carol Ann Duffy, and a series of striking examples of how literary texts change as they are transmitted from writer to reader. The narrative embraces not only the major literary movements such as Romanticism and Modernism, together with the most influential authors including Chaucer, Donne, Johnson, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens and Woolf, but also little-known stories such as the identity of the first English woman poet to be honoured with a collected edition of her works. Written with the flair and passion for which Jonathan Bate has become renowned, this book is the perfect Very Short Introduction for all readers and students of the incomparable literary heritage of these islands. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Helen Graham
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019162229X
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 5758

Continue Reading →

This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It also provides an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how it continues to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond. Throughout the book, the focus is on the war as an arena of social change where ideas about culture were forged or resisted, and in which both Spaniards and non-Spaniards participated alike. These were conflicts that during the Second World War would stretch from Franco's regime, which envisaged itself as part of the Nazi new order, to Europe and beyond. Accordingly, this book examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. History writing itself became a battleground and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. It also indicates its ultimate failure - as evident in new writings on the war and, above all, in the return of Republican memory now occurring in Spain during the opening years of the twenty-first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

African History: A Very Short Introduction


Author: John Parker,Richard Rathbone
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191577642
Category: History
Page: 184
View: 9966

Continue Reading →

Essential reading for anyone interested in the African continent and the diversity of human history, this Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented. Key themes in current thinking about Africa's history are illustrated with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Graham Priest
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192539701
Category: Philosophy
Page: 152
View: 1671

Continue Reading →

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Ian J. Deary
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579491
Category: Philosophy
Page: 148
View: 9045

Continue Reading →

People value their powers of thinking and most of us are interested in why some people seem to drive a highly tuned Rolls Royce brain while others potter along with a merely serviceable Ford Fiesta. This Very Short Introduction describes what psychologists have discovered about how and why people differ in their thinking powers. The book takes readers from no knowledge about the science of human intelligence to a stage where they are able to make judgements for themselves about some of the key questions about human mental ability differences. Each chapter deals with a central issue that is both scientifically lively and of considerable general interest, and is structured around a diagram which is explained in the course of the chapter. The issues discussed include whether there are several different types of intelligence, whether intelligence differences are caused by genes or the environment, the biological basis of intelligence differences, and whether intelligence declines or increases as we grow older. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Indian Cinema: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Ashish Rajadhyaksha
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191034770
Category: Art
Page: 144
View: 3677

Continue Reading →

One film out of every five made anywhere on earth comes from India. From its beginnings under colonial rule through to the heights of Bollywood , Indian Cinema has challenged social injustices such as caste, the oppression of Indian women, religious intolerance, rural poverty, and the pressures of life in the burgeoning cities. And yet, the Indian movie industry makes only about five percent of Hollywood's annual revenue. In this Very Short Introduction Ashish Rajadhyaksha delves into the political, social, and economic factors which, over time, have shaped Indian Cinema into a fascinating counterculture. Covering everything from silent cinema through to the digital era, Rajadhyaksha examines how the industry reflects the complexity and variety of Indian society through the dramatic changes of the 20th century, and into the beginnings of the 21st. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable

Mathematics


Author: Timothy Gowers
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 9781402768972
Category: Mathematics
Page: 180
View: 7226

Continue Reading →

Mathematics is a subject we are all exposed to in our daily lives, but one that many of us fear. Timothy Gowers’s entertaining overview of the topic explains the differences between what we learn at school and advanced mathematics, and helps the math phobic emerge with a clearer understanding of such paradoxical-sounding concepts as “infinity,” “curved space,” and “imaginary numbers.” From basic ideas to philosophical queries to common sociological questions about the mathematical community, this book unravels the mysteries of space and numbers.

Modern Italy


Author: Anna Cento Bull
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198726511
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 8386

Continue Reading →

The history of modern Italy is characterized by recurrent cultural and political projects of modernity, rejuvenation, and regeneration; projects which often had their roots in a widespread dissatisfaction with social and political reality, and perceived moral corruption. The Risorgimento, the movement leading to Italian Unification in 1861, explicitly linked the quest for national unity to a process of moral regeneration and progress. Later forms of nationalism and the rise of fascism in the first two decades of the twentieth century advocated a spiritual revolution and the moulding of new Italians through war and violence. The tragic outcome of Italian fascism led to the emergence of new visions of progress during the post-war First Republic, in which European integration was embraced with conviction. In the last 25 years a project of of modernization epitomized by Silvio Berlusconi has characterized Italian politics, invoking a mixture of nationalist themes and an uncritical embracing of consumer and media culture. In this Very Short Introduction Anna Cento Bull addresses the question of what modernity means to Italy, and asks what modern Italy stands for. She considers Italy's political system and style of government, and looks at its economic modernisation and issues with emigration, internal migration and immigration. Bull concludes by looking at the Italian culture and lifestyle, including modern art and architecture, cinema, literature, gastronomy, fashion and sport. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.