The Brain

Portada
Gerald Maurice Edelman, Jean-Pierre Changeux
Transaction Publishers - 291 páginas
One of the vastly exciting areas in modern science involves the study of the brain. Recent research focuses not only on how the brain works but how it is related to what we normally call the mind, and throws new light on human behavior. Progress has been made in researching all that relates to interior man, why he thinks and feels as he does, what values he chooses to adopt, and what practices to scorn. All of these attributes make us human and help to explain art, philosophy, and religions. Motion, sight, and memory, as well as emotions and the sentiments common to humans, are all given new meaning by what we have learned about the brain.

In an introductory essay, Vernon B. Mountcastle traces the progress made in brain science during this century. Gerald M. Edelman touches upon features of the brain that challenge the picture of the brain as a machine. Semir Zeki discusses artists and artistic expression as an extension of the function of the brain. Richard S. J. Frackowiak probes the functional architecture of the brain. Mark F. Bear and Leon N Cooper explore whether complex neural systems can be illuminated by theoretical structures. Jean-Pierre Changeux sheds light on the knowledge gained in recent years concerning the neurobiology and pharmacology of drug action and addiction. Alexander A. Borbly and Giulio Tononi ponder the quest for the essence of sleep, illuminating its complex dynamic process.

George L. Gabor Miklos examines variations in neuroanatomies and sensory systems between individuals of the same species as well as variations across the evolutionary spectrum. Emilio Bizzi and Ferdinando A. Mussa-Ivaldi explain how scientists have approached the study of movement, the problems encountered, and the solutions proposed. Marcel Kinsbourne explores the unity and diversity in the human brain. In the concluding essay, Andy Clark points to recent work in neuroscience, robotics, and psychology that stresses the unexpected intimacy of brain, body, and world, supporting his belief that the mind is best understood as a brain at home in its proper bodily cultural and environmental niche.

The breadth and scope of subjects covered in this volume attest to the extraordinary progress taking place in the study of the brain. This brilliant collection of essays by those at the forefront of research in this area will be of interest to all those interested in human behavior.

Gerald M. Edelman is director of the Neurosciences Institute and chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at the Scripps Research Institute. Jean-Pierre Changeux is professor at the Collge de France and the Institute Pasteur.

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Contenido

Brain Science at the Centurys Ebb
3
Building a Picture of the Brain
39
Art and the Brain
73
The Functional Architecture of the Brain
107
From Molecules to Mental States
133
Drug Use and Abuse
147
The Quest for the Essence of Sleep
169
The Evolution and Modification of Brains and Sensory Systems
199
The Acquisition of Motor Behavior
219
Evidence from Injury
235
Where Brain Body and World Collide
259
Subject Index
283
Illustrations
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Página 81 - Nature, or in other words, what is particular and uncommon, can be acquired only by experience ; and the whole beauty and grandeur of the art consists, in my opinion, in being able to get above all singular forms, local customs, particularities, and details of every kind.
Página 78 - Unaware of the fact that in order to display a true relation we must be ready to sacrifice a thousand apparent truths, he accepted, without the slightest intellectual control, all that his retina presented to him.
Página 79 - Underlying this succession of moments which constitutes the superficial existence of beings and things, and which is continually modifying and transforming them, one can search for a truer, more essential character, which the artist will seize so that he may give to reality a more lasting interpretation.
Página 93 - For this reason the straight line is a stronger and more profound expression than the curve. In pure plastic art the significance of different forms and lines is very important; it is precisely this fact which makes it pure. In order that art may be really abstract, in other words, that it should not represent relations with the natural aspect of things, the law of the denaturalization of...
Página 79 - The true purpose of painting is to represent objects as they really are, that is to say, differently from the way we see them.
Página 132 - Functional analysis of human MT and related visual cortical areas using magnetic resonance imaging.
Página 81 - By this means, he acquires a just idea of beautiful forms; he corrects nature by herself, her imperfect state by her more perfect. His eye being enabled to distinguish the accidental deficiencies, excrescences, and deformities of things, from their general figures, he makes out an abstract idea of their forms more perfect than any one original...
Página 92 - C'est de l'art pur. La lumière des œuvres de Picasso contient cet art qu'inventé de son côté Robert Delaunay et où s'efforcent aussi Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia et Marcel Duchamp. Le cubisme instinctif, art de peindre des ensembles nouveaux empruntés non à la réalité visuelle, mais à celle que suggèrent à l'artiste, l'instinct et l'intuition, tend depuis longtemps à l'orphisme.
Página 86 - Contrary to what is usually believed, sight is a successive sense; we have to combine many of its perceptions before we can know a single object well.
Página 191 - Contribution of the circadian pacemaker and the sleep homeostat to sleep propensity, sleep structure, electroencephalographic slow waves, and sleep spindle activity in humans.

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