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It has been remarked that if the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t. Commencing with a brief history of neuroscience, from the ancient practice of drilling holes in the head to relieve headaches to the latest results from MRI and CT scans, this accessible guide sets out to explore exactly what we do know about the brain. Including the most up-to-date research on the cerebral processes behind a wide array of human activity – from our capacity for language to how we remember – this lively and entertaining introduction assumes no previous scientific knowledge and offers a tantalizing glimpse into man’s most complex organ. Ammar Al-Chalabi is Honourary Consultant Neurologist at King’s College Hospital, and a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. R. Shane Delamont is a Consultant Neurologist at King’s College Hospital, and Martin Turner is Wellcome Fellow in Neurology at The Institute of Psychiatry. All three have extensive experience of teaching the key principles of neuroscience, and between them their specialist fields of expertise cover all of the main areas of contemporary brain research.
Why are we fascinated with celebrity? Why are we attracted to the wrong people? What does ‘passive aggressive’ really mean? Can astrology really be a good indicator of personality? Sex, envy, survival, joy – Martin gets to the very heart of what it is to be human. A broad yet concise book – and so timely: psychology has never been more popular. From TV experts to the amateur musings of your best friend, the language of psychology has permeated all aspects of everyday modern life. Informed by cutting-edge research, and from one of the world’s leading psychologists, this is the most engaging non-fiction book you’ll read all year. Dr G Neil Martin is Principal Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University U.K.
Ever since the ancient Greeks conceived of the atom, humans have sought the smallest ingredients of our existence. In the past century, the use of reductionism to understand behavior has gained steam as the quantum universe and the workings of the human mind have been uncovered; still there are those who say that reductionists are oversimplifying our world. Here, acclaimed physicist Alastair Rae spells out how the powerful tool of reductionism works, from the level of subatomic particles, up through molecular chemistry, and beyond to our neural networks. How does physics explain consciousness? Can quantum mechanics be applied to the brain or mind? Rae’s exploration is an indispensable guide to one of the most fundamental ideas of science and the perfect companion for anyone considering how scientific findings reach into human life.
Philosophy, the “love of wisdom”, is the product of our endless fascination and curiosity about the world – the child of wonder. Through it, we seek to answer the most fundamental of questions: How do we know what we know? Does God exist? What is beauty? How should we live our lives? What am I? In this exhilarating tour, Peter Cave navigates all the main topics of philosophy with verve and clarity. Using witty and whimsical examples, including stoical sofas and Reg, the “regular” human, who just happens to carry his brain in a rucksack, Cave provides a welcome antidote to the dry textbook while covering everything from political philosophy to points of logic. Interspersed with helpful textboxes and underlining the enduring relevance of philosophy to us all, there is no better introduction for the aspiring sage.
Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge. Without knowledge, scientific enquiry is meaningless and we can’t analyse the world around us. But what exactly is it and how do we obtain it? Presuming no prior experience of philosophy, this book covers everything in the topic from scepticism and induction to Kant’s transcendentalism.
In this lively introduction to the philosophy of mind, important questions are tackled with clear explanations of all the theories of mind, from the classic accounts of Descartes and Aquinas to the developments in computing and cognitive science.
In a world burdened by chronic conditions and mutating viruses, with a health service strained to its limits, the history of medicine challenges our understanding of what it means to be healthy. By illuminating the ailments and methods of the past, our own dilemmas about medical practice and policy can be put into a new perspective. Esteemed historian Mark Jackson takes us from the dawn of medicine in the ancient world to the most recent developments pioneered in the 21st century’s hospitals. On the way, Jackson explores Indian and Chinese traditions, as well as the origins of today’s so-called alternative therapies, offering piercing insight into how medicine has reflected and shaped society throughout the ages.

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