Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts
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.
Paleopoetics: The Evolution of the Preliterate Imagination
Christopher Collins introduces an exciting new field of research traversing evolutionary biology, anthropology, archaeology, cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and literary study. Paleopoetics maps the selective processes that originally shaped the human genus millions of years ago and prepared the human brain to play, imagine, empathize, and engage in fictive thought as mediated by language. A manifestation of the "cognitive turn" in the humanities, Paleopoetics calls for a broader, more integrated interpretation of the reading experience, one that restores our connection to the ancient methods of thought production still resonating within us.
Terra Nova: The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs
Many experts agree that energy is the defining issue of this century. Economic recessions, foreign wars, and foreclosures are only a few of the results of America’s dependence on oil. In Terra Nova, ecologist Eric Sanderson elucidates the interconnections between oil and money, cars and transportation, and suburbs and land use. He then charts a path toward renewed economic growth, enhanced national security, revitalized communities, and a sustainable environment: a new form of the American Dream. Taking a uniquely cross-disciplinary, accessible approach, Sanderson delves into natural history, architecture, chemistry, and politics, to show how the American relationship to nature shaped our past and predicates our future.
Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space
Dreams of Other Worlds describes the unmanned space missions that have opened new windows on distant worlds. Spanning four decades of dramatic advances in astronomy and planetary science, this book tells the story of eleven iconic exploratory missions and how they have fundamentally transformed our scientific and cultural perspectives on the universe and our place in it. This stunningly illustrated book also explores how our view of the universe has been brought into sharp focus by NASA's great observatories--Spitzer, Chandra, and Hubble--and how the WMAP mission has provided rare glimpses of the dawn of creation. Dreams of Other Worlds reveals how these unmanned exploratory missions have redefined what it means to be the temporary tenants of a small planet in a vast cosmos.
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