The Long Evolution of Brains and Minds


Author: Gerhard Roth
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400762593
Category: Nature
Page: 320
View: 2621

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The main topic of the book is a reconstruction of the evolution of nervous systems and brains as well as of mental-cognitive abilities, in short “intelligence” from simplest organisms to humans. It investigates to which extent the two are correlated. One central topic is the alleged uniqueness of the human brain and human intelligence and mind. It is discussed which neural features make certain animals and humans intelligent and creative: Is it absolute or relative brain size or the size of “intelligence centers” inside the brains, the number of nerve cells inside the brain in total or in such “intelligence centers” decisive for the degree of intelligence, of mind and eventually consciousness? And which are the driving forces behind these processes? Finally, it is asked what all this means for the classical problem of mind-brain relationship and for a naturalistic theory of mind.

Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods

Early Humans and the Origins of Religion
Author: E. Fuller Torrey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544863
Category: Science
Page: 291
View: 5796

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Religions and mythologies from around the world teach that God or gods created humans. Atheist, humanist, and materialist critics, meanwhile, have attempted to turn theology on its head, claiming that religion is a human invention. In this book, E. Fuller Torrey draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to propose a startling answer to the ultimate question. Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods locates the origin of gods within the human brain, arguing that religious belief is a by-product of evolution. Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. However, it also led to comprehension of mortality, spurring belief in an alternative to death. Torrey details the neurobiological sequence that explains why the gods appeared when they did, connecting archaeological findings including clothing, art, farming, and urbanization to cognitive developments. This book does not dismiss belief but rather presents religious belief as an inevitable outcome of brain evolution. Providing clear and accessible explanations of evolutionary neuroscience, Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods will shed new light on the mechanics of our deepest mysteries.

Global Brain

The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
Author: Howard Bloom
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 9780471419198
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 5608

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"As someone who has spent forty years in psychology with a long-standing interest in evolution, I'll just assimilate Howard Bloom's accomplishment and my amazement."-DAVID SMILLIE, Visiting Professor of Zoology, Duke University In this extraordinary follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Lucifer Principle, Howard Bloom-one of today's preeminent thinkers-offers us a bold rewrite of the evolutionary saga. He shows how plants and animals (including humans) have evolved together as components of a worldwide learning machine. He describes the network of life on Earth as one that is, in fact, a "complex adaptive system," a global brain in which each of us plays a sometimes conscious, sometimes unknowing role. and he reveals that the World Wide Web is just the latest step in the development of this brain. These are theories as important as they are radical. Informed by twenty years of interdisciplinary research, Bloom takes us on a spellbinding journey back to the big bang to let us see how its fires forged primordial sociality. As he brings us back via surprising routes, we see how our earliest bacterial ancestors built multitrillion-member research and development teams a full 3.5 billion years ago. We watch him unravel the previously unrecognized strands of interconnectedness woven by crowds of trilobites, hunting packs of dinosaurs, feathered flying lizards gathered in flocks, troops of baboons making communal decisions, and adventurous tribes of protohumans spreading across continents but still linked by primitive forms of information networking. We soon find ourselves reconsidering our place in the world. Along the way, Bloom offers us exhilarating insights into the strange tricks of body and mind that have organized a variety of life forms: spiny lobsters, which, during the Paleozoic age, participated in communal marching rituals; and bees, which, during the age of dinosaurs, conducted collective brainwork. This fascinating tour continues on to the sometimes brutal subculture wars that have spurred the growth of human civilization since the Stone Age. Bloom shows us how culture shapes our infant brains, immersing us in a matrix of truth and mass delusion that we think of as reality. Global Brain is more than just a brilliantly original contribution to the ongoing debate on the inner workings of evolution. It is a "grand vision," says the eminent evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, a work that transforms our very view of who we are and why.

The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain


Author: Terrence W. Deacon
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393343022
Category: Science
Page: 528
View: 2092

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"A work of enormous breadth, likely to pleasantly surprise both general readers and experts."—New York Times Book Review This revolutionary book provides fresh answers to long-standing questions of human origins and consciousness. Drawing on his breakthrough research in comparative neuroscience, Terrence Deacon offers a wealth of insights into the significance of symbolic thinking: from the co-evolutionary exchange between language and brains over two million years of hominid evolution to the ethical repercussions that followed man's newfound access to other people's thoughts and emotions. Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain's development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanism of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human.

Evolve Your Brain

The Science of Changing Your Mind
Author: Joe Dispenza
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.
ISBN: 0757307655
Category: Psychology
Page: 528
View: 3506

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Combining science and psychology, an empowering guide helps individuals break away from the cycle of negative behaviors by revealing how new thinking and new beliefs can change one's behavior, emotional reactions, and habit-forming patterns.

Society Of Mind


Author: Marvin Minsky
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0671657135
Category: Psychology
Page: 339
View: 7225

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An authority on artificial intelligence introduces a theory that explores the workings of the human mind and the mysteries of thought

Birdsong, Speech, and Language

Exploring the Evolution of Mind and Brain
Author: Johan J. Bolhuis,Martin Everaert,Robert C. Berwick,Noam Chomsky
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262313839
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 560
View: 3907

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Scholars have long been captivated by the parallels between birdsong and human speech and language. In this book, leading scholars draw on the latest research to explore what birdsong can tell us about the biology of human speech and language and the consequences for evolutionary biology. After outlining the basic issues involved in the study of both language and evolution, the contributors compare birdsong and language in terms of acquisition, recursion, and core structural properties, and then examine the neurobiology of song and speech, genomic factors, and the emergence and evolution of language. ContributorsHermann Ackermann, Gabriël J.L. Beckers, Robert C. Berwick, Johan J. Bolhuis, Noam Chomsky, Frank Eisner, Martin Everaert, Michale S. Fee, Olga Fehér, Simon E. Fisher, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Jonathan B. Fritz, Sharon M.H. Gobes, Riny Huijbregts, Eric Jarvis, Robert Lachlan, Ann Law, Michael A. Long, Gary F. Marcus, Carolyn McGettigan, Daniel Mietchen, Richard Mooney, Sanne Moorman, Kazuo Okanoya, Christophe Pallier, Irene M. Pepperberg, Jonathan F. Prather, Franck Ramus, Eric Reuland, Constance Scharff, Sophie K. Scott, Neil Smith, Ofer Tchernichovski, Carel ten Cate, Christopher K. Thompson, Frank Wijnen, Moira Yip, Wolfram Ziegler, Willem Zuidema

The Trickster Brain

Neuroscience, Evolution, and Narrative
Author: David Williams
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739143999
Category: Social Science
Page: 314
View: 6547

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The Trickster Brain: Neuroscience, Evolution, and Nature by David Williams looks at literature from an evolutionary, biological, and neurological perspective. He uses the Trickster character as he/she appears across cultures to demonstrate how stories reveal universal aspects of the biological mind. Williams brings together science and the humanities, demonstrating a critical way of approaching literature that incorporates scientific thought.

Suitable Heresies

A New Scientific Concept of Brain and Mind and Its Startling Implications for Our Times
Author: Graham Rabey
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781848760103
Category: Brain
Page: 353
View: 7990

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The theory suggests that there is a structural similarity between certain basic brain forms and certain basic mind forms and that the former provide a credible explanation for the latter. It does not suggest that the causative link has been proved thereby. What is claimed is that in the jungle of brain-mind research (where fundamental physical evidence for speculation is often in short supply) the theory provides a scientifically and philosophically arguable clearing and thus a hypothesis worthy of investigation by anyone interested in the mysteries of human thought. One implication of the theory amounts to a central heresy - namely that, on the accumulating evidence, our traditional and much-cherished one-truth thinking conventions will need to be replaced by two truth thinking conventions.Another implication of the theory is that it now seems entirely possible that the emergence and nature of philosophy itself have been crucially dependent on our long human struggle to extract single responses from thinking equipment that appears necessarily (i.e. anatomically) double and circular - the double cycles being mutually inverted.

Evolution of Mind, Brain, and Culture


Author: Gary Hatfield,Holly Pittman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 1934536490
Category: Social Science
Page: 476
View: 6715

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Evolution of Mind, Brain, and Culture draws together studies in archaeology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, genetics, neuroscience, and environmental science to investigate the evolution of the human mind, the brain, and the human capacity for culture.

Evolution of the Brain: Creation of the Self


Author: John C. Eccles
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134968353
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
View: 7371

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Sir John Eccles, a distinguished scientist and Nobel Prize winner who has devoted his scientific life to the study of the mammalian brain, tells the story of how we came to be, not only as animals at the end of the hominid evolutionary line, but also as human persons possessed of reflective consciousness.

In Search of Unity

The Greatest Puzzle of Science
Author: Spencer Scoular
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780987662200
Category: Science
Page: N.A
View: 3963

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Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language


Author: Robin Dunbar
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674363366
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 230
View: 9658

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What a big brain we have for all the small talk we make. It's an evolutionary riddle that at long last makes sense in this intriguing book about what gossip has done for our talkative species. Psychologist Robin Dunbar looks at gossip as an instrument of social order and cohesion--much like the endless grooming with which our primate cousins tend to their social relationships. Apes and monkeys, humanity's closest kin, differ from other animals in the intensity of these relationships. All their grooming is not so much about hygiene as it is about cementing bonds, making friends, and influencing fellow primates. But for early humans, grooming as a way to social success posed a problem: given their large social groups of 150 or so, our earliest ancestors would have had to spend almost half their time grooming one another--an impossible burden. What Dunbar suggests--and his research, whether in the realm of primatology or in that of gossip, confirms--is that humans developed language to serve the same purpose, but far more efficiently. It seems there is nothing idle about chatter, which holds together a diverse, dynamic group--whether of hunter-gatherers, soldiers, or workmates. Anthropologists have long assumed that language developed in relationships among males during activities such as hunting. Dunbar's original and extremely interesting studies suggest otherwise: that language in fact evolved in response to our need to keep up to date with friends and family. We needed conversation to stay in touch, and we still need it in ways that will not be satisfied by teleconferencing, email, or any other communication technology. As Dunbar shows, the impersonal world of cyberspace will not fulfill our primordial need for face-to-face contact. From the nit-picking of chimpanzees to our chats at coffee break, from neuroscience to paleoanthropology, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language offers a provocative view of what makes us human, what holds us together, and what sets us apart.

Neuroscience and Philosophy

Brain, Mind, and Language
Author: M. R. Bennett
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231140447
Category: Medical
Page: 215
View: 8500

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Neuroscience and Philosophy begins with an excerpt from Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience, in which Maxwell Bennett and Peter Hacker question the conceptual commitments of cognitive neuroscientists. Daniel Dennett and John Searle then criticize their position, and Bennett and Hacker respond. Their impassioned exchange encompasses a wide range of central themes: the nature of consciousness, the bearer and location of psychological attributes, the intelligibility of so-called brain maps and representations, the notion of qualia, and the relationships between mind, brain, and body. Pulling all of these strands together, Daniel Robinson then explains why this confrontation is so crucial to the understanding of neuroscientific research. Clearly argued and thoroughly engaging, the authors present fundamentally different conceptions of philosophical method, cognitive-neuroscientific explanation, and human nature, and their debate will appeal to anyone interested in the relation of mind to brain, of psychology to neuroscience, of causal to rational explanation, and of consciousness to self-consciousness.

Evolution, Culture, and Consciousness

The Discovery of the Preconscious Mind
Author: Thomas Edward McNamara
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761827658
Category: Psychology
Page: 310
View: 556

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Thomas McNamara, in Evolution, Culture, and Consciousness, presents the first comprehensive theory of human perception and consciousness based on the generally accepted principles of evolutionary psychology. This theory, building on the best evolutionary research, explains that just a few simple neurological changes in the primate brain account for human speech, self-consciousness and the creation of meaning out of experience. All primates can learn, but our species evolved a new instinct for learning, which makes childhood learning just as powerful as the other biological instincts found in all other primates. McNamara shows that children are genetically programmed to learn not just what to think, but how to think, shaping the preconscious process for creating meaning out of experience. However, because our environment has changed radically since our origin, this archaic form of consciousness has become a major block to human development and success. After explaining how we have all been programmed to preconsciously create meaning out of experience, McNamara shows how we can create a new and more successful way of thinking and feeling, resulting in a happier, more productive, stress free life.

Thinking in Complexity

The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind
Author: Klaus Mainzer
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3540722289
Category: Science
Page: 482
View: 9667

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This new edition also treats smart materials and artificial life. A new chapter on information and computational dynamics takes up many recent discussions in the community.

Equations of Eternity, Speculations on Consciousness, Meaning, and the Mathematical Rules That Orchestrate the Cosmos


Author: David Darling
Publisher: First Edition Design Pub.
ISBN: 1622870514
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Page: 92
View: 3792

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In a dazzling, lyrical mixture of science and philosophy, acclaimed science writer David Darling makes a provocative case for the workings of human consciousness, its origins, and its destiny when the next Big Bang precipitates a quantum leap in evolution. Equations of Eternity rethinks thought and the existence of intelligence in a way that will give readers a lot to think about.

Ghosts of Theatre and Cinema in the Brain


Author: M. Pizzato
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1403983291
Category: Performing Arts
Page: 323
View: 5242

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Pizzato focuses on the staging of Self and Other as phantom characters inside the brain (in the 'mind's eye', as Hamlet says). He explores the brain's anatomical evolution from animal drives to human consciousness to divine aspirations, through distinctive cultural expressions in stage and screen technologies.

The Evolution of Childhood

Relationships, Emotion, Mind
Author: Melvin Konner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674045668
Category: Science
Page: 943
View: 6662

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With an eye to the entire range of human evolutionary history, a study of human development examines cross-cultural and universal characteristics of growth from infancy to adolescence.