The Ravenous Brain

Author: Daniel Bor
Editor: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465032966
Size: 12,81 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snowcapped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory—that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains’ ravenous appetite for information—and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behavior may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits—it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness—a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.

The Ravenous Brain

Author: Daniel Bor
Editor: Basic Books
ISBN: 046502047X
Size: 15,18 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Read: 453
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A noted neuroscientist lays out his theory of consciousness, arguing that human consciousness evolves by gathering and scrutinizing information.

The Ravenous Brain

Author: Daniel Bor
Editor: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0465032966
Size: 18,22 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
Read: 431
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Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snowcapped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory—that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains’ ravenous appetite for information—and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behavior may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits—it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness—a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.

Consciousness And The Brain

Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Editor: Penguin
ISBN: 0698151402
Size: 20,19 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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WINNER OF THE 2014 BRAIN PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries. A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Consciousness

Author: Christof Koch
Editor: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262301032
Size: 17,41 MB
Format: PDF
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What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book -- part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation -- describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest -- his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful.Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work -- to uncover the roots of consciousness.

In Our Own Image Savior Or Destroyer The History And Future Of Artificial Intelligence

Author: George Zarkadakis
Editor: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681771071
Size: 20,76 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A timely and important book that explores the history and future, as well as the societal and ethical implications, of Artificial Intelligence as we approach the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution Zarkadakis explores one of humankind's oldest love-hate relationships—our ties with artificial intelligence, or AI. He traces AI's origins in ancient myth, through literary classics like Frankenstein, to today's sci-fi blockbusters, arguing that a fascination with AI is hardwired into the human psyche. He explains AI's history, technology, and potential; its manifestations in intelligent machines; its connections to neurology and consciousness, as well as—perhaps most tellingly—what AI reveals about us as human beings. In Our Own Image argues that we are on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution—poised to enter the age of Artificial Intelligence as science fiction becomes science fact. Ultimately, Zarkadakis observes, the fate of AI has profound implications for the future of science and humanity itself.

Answers For Aristotle

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Editor: Basic Books (AZ)
ISBN: 0465021387
Size: 14,92 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A philosophy professor and blogger explains how science and philosophy can combine to help make daily decisions, how to determine right from wrong, how to figure out one's personal identity and also build a just society. 20,000 first printing.

Into The Gray Zone

Author: Adrian Owen
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501135228
Size: 18,58 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this “riveting read, meshing memoir with scientific explication” (Nature), a world-renowned neuroscientist reveals how he learned to communicate with patients in vegetative or “gray zone” states and, more importantly, he explains what those interactions tell us about the working of our own brains. “Vivid, emotional, and thought-provoking” (Publishers Weekly), Into the Gray Zone takes readers to the edge of a dazzling, humbling frontier in our understanding of the brain: the so-called “gray zone” between full consciousness and brain death. People in this middle place have sustained traumatic brain injuries or are the victims of stroke or degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Many are oblivious to the outside world, and their doctors believe they are incapable of thought. But a sizeable number—as many as twenty percent—are experiencing something different: intact minds adrift deep within damaged brains and bodies. An expert in the field, Adrian Owen led a team that, in 2006, discovered this lost population and made medical history. Scientists, physicians, and philosophers have only just begun to grapple with the implications. Following Owen’s journey of exciting medical discovery, Into the Gray Zone asks some tough and terrifying questions, such as: What is life like for these patients? What can their families and friends do to help them? What are the ethical implications for religious organizations, politicians, the Right to Die movement, and even insurers? And perhaps most intriguing of all: in defining what a life worth living is, are we too concerned with the physical and not giving enough emphasis to the power of thought? What, truly, defines a satisfying life? “Strangely uplifting…the testimonies of people who have returned from the gray zone evoke the mysteries of consciousness and identity with tremendous power” (The New Yorker). This book is about the difference between a brain and a mind, a body and a person. Into the Gray Zone is “a fascinating memoir…reads like a thriller” (Mail on Sunday).

Visual Intelligence

Author: Donald D. Hoffman
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393319675
Size: 19,58 MB
Format: PDF
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Reveals the way the human eye acts on the visual world not just to represent but to actively construct the things we see, outlining the rules of vision and their application in art and technology. Reprint.

Why Animals Matter

Author: Marian Stamp Dawkins
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199587825
Size: 19,89 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Presents an urgent argument for the need to rethink animal welfare. In the vein of Temple Grandin's work, Dawkins explains that this welfare must be made to work in practice to have any effect, and cannot be tinged by anthropomorphism and claims of animal consciousness, which lack firm empirical evidence and are often freighted with controversy and high emotions. Instead, animal-welfare efforts must focus on science and on fully appreciating the critical role animals play in human welfare. With growing concern over such issues as climate change and food shortages, how we treat those animals on which we depend for survival needs to be put squarely on the public agenda.