How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better
Author: Sandra Blakeslee,Matthew Blakeslee
Pubpsher: Random House
In this compelling, cutting-edge book, two generations of science writers explore the exciting science of “body maps” in the brain–and how startling new discoveries about the mind-body connection can change and improve our lives. Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? What makes video games so addictive? How can “practicing” your favorite sport in your imagination improve your game? The answers can be found in body maps. Just as road maps represent interconnections across the landscape, your many body maps represent all aspects of your bodily self, inside and out. In concert, they create your physical and emotional awareness and your sense of being a whole, feeling self in a larger social world. Moreover, your body maps are profoundly elastic. Your self doesn’t begin and end with your physical body but extends into the space around you. This space morphs every time you put on or take off clothes, ride a bike, or wield a tool. When you drive a car, your personal body space grows to envelop it. When you play a video game, your body maps automatically track and emulate the actions of your character onscreen. When you watch a scary movie, your body maps put dread in your stomach and send chills down your spine. If your body maps fall out of sync, you may have an out-of-body experience or see auras around other people. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own explains how you can tap into the power of body maps to do almost anything better–whether it is playing tennis, strumming a guitar, riding a horse, dancing a waltz, empathizing with a friend, raising children, or coping with stress. The story of body maps goes even further, providing a fresh look at the causes of anorexia, bulimia, obsessive plastic surgery, and the notorious golfer’s curse “the yips.” It lends insights into culture, language, music, parenting, emotions, chronic pain, and more. Filled with illustrations, wonderful anecdotes, and even parlor tricks that you can use to reconfigure your body sense, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own will change the way you think–about the way you think. “The Blakeslees have taken the latest and most exciting finds from brain research and have made them accessible. This is how science writing should always be.” –Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., author of The Ethical Brain “Through a stream of fascinating and entertaining examples, Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee illustrate how our perception of ourselves, and indeed the world, is not fixed but is surprisingly fluid and easily modified. They have created the best book ever written about how our sense of ‘self’ emerges from the motley collection of neurons we call the brain.” –Jeff Hawkins, co-author of On Intelligence “The Blakeslees have taken the latest and most exciting finds from brain research and have made them accessible. This is how science writing should always be.” –Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., author of The Ethical Brain “A marvelous book. In the last ten years there has been a paradigm shift in understanding the brain and how its various specialized regions respond to environmental challenges. In addition to providing a brilliant overview of recent revolutionary discoveries on body image and brain plasticity, the book is sprinkled with numerous insights.” –V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego
Whether enemy or ally, demon or god, the source of satisfaction or the root of all earthly troubles, the penis has forced humanity to wrestle with its enduring mysteries. Here, in an enlightening and entertaining cultural study, is a book that gives context to the central role of the penis in Western civilization. A man can hold his manhood in his hand, but who is really gripping whom? Is the penis the best in man -- or the beast? How is man supposed to use it? And when does that use become abuse? Of all the bodily organs, only the penis forces man to confront such contradictions: something insistent yet reluctant, a tool that creates but also destroys, a part of the body that often seems apart from the body. This is the conundrum that makes the penis both hero and villain in a drama that shapes every man -- and mankind along with it. In A Mind of Its Own, David M. Friedman shows that the penis is more than a body part. It is an idea, a conceptual but flesh-and-blood measuring stick of man's place in the world. That men have a penis is a scientific fact; how they think about it, feel about it, and use it is not. It is possible to identify the key moments in Western history when a new idea of the penis addressed the larger mystery of man's relationship with it and changed forever the way that organ was conceived of and put to use. A Mind of Its Own brilliantly distills this complex and largely unexamined story. Deified by the pagan cultures of the ancient world and demonized by the early Roman church, the organ was later secularized by pioneering anatomists such as Leonardo da Vinci. After being measured "scientifically" in an effort to subjugate some races while elevating others, the organ was psychoanalyzed by Sigmund Freud. As a result, the penis assumed a paradigmatic role in psychology -- whether the patient was equipped with the organ or envied those who were. Now, after being politicized by feminism and exploited in countless ways by pop culture, the penis has been medicalized. As no one has before him, Friedman shows how the arrival of erection industry products such as Viagra is more than a health or business story. It is the latest -- and perhaps final -- chapter in one of the longest sagas in human history: the story of man's relationship with his penis. A Mind of Its Own charts the vicissitudes of that relationship through its often amusing, occasionally alarming, and never boring course. With intellectual rigor and a healthy dose of wry humor, David M. Friedman serves up one of the most thought-provoking, significant, and readable cultural works in years.
This book offers intimate readings of a diverse range of global autobiographical literature with an emphasis on the (re)presentation of the physical body. The twelve texts discussed here include philosophical autobiography (Nietzsche), autobiographies of self-experimentation (Gandhi, Mishima, Warhol), literary autobiography (Hemingway, Das) as well as other genres of autobiography, including the graphic novel (Spiegelman, Satrapi), as also documentations of tragedy and injustice and subsequent spiritual overcoming (Ambedkar, Pawar, Angelou, Wiesel). In exploring different literary forms and orientations of the autobiographies, the work remains constantly attuned to the physical body, a focus generally absent from literary criticism and philosophy or study of leading historical personages, with the exception of patches within phenomenological philosophy and feminism. The book delves into how the authors treated here deal with the flesh through their autobiographical writing and in what way they embody the essential relationship between flesh, spirit and word. It analyses some seminal texts such as Ecce Homo, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Waiting for a Visa, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, A Moveable Feast, Night, Baluta, My Story, Sun and Steel, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, MAUS and Persepolis. Lucid, bold and authoritative, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of philosophy, literature, gender studies, political philosophy, media and popular culture, social exclusion, and race and discrimination studies.
An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will
Author: Heidi M. Ravven
Pubpsher: New Press, The
“Intertwines history, philosophy, and science . . . A powerful challenge to conventional notions of individual responsibility” (Publishers Weekly). Few concepts are more unshakable in our culture than free will, the idea that individuals are fundamentally in control of the decisions they make, good or bad. And yet the latest research about how the brain functions seems to point in the opposite direction . . . In a work of breathtaking intellectual sweep and erudition, Heidi M. Ravven offers a riveting and accessible review of cutting-edge neuroscientific research into the brain’s capacity for decision-making—from “mirror” neurons and “self-mapping” to surprising new understandings of group psychology. The Self Beyond Itself also introduces readers to a rich, alternative philosophical tradition of ethics, rooted in the writing of Baruch Spinoza, that finds uncanny confirmation in modern science. Illustrating the results of today’s research with real-life examples, taking readers from elementary school classrooms to Nazi concentration camps, Ravven demonstrates that it is possible to build a theory of ethics that doesn’t rely on free will yet still holds both individuals and groups responsible for the decisions that help create a good society. The Self Beyond Itself is that rare book that injects new ideas into an old debate—and “an important contribution to the development of our thinking about morality” (Washington Independent Review of Books). “An intellectual hand-grenade . . . A magisterial survey of how contemporary neuroscience supports a vision of human morality which puts it squarely on the same plane as other natural phenomena.” —William D. Casebeer, author of Natural Ethical Facts
If the contents of this publication were easy to understand, it would be a much shorter book. It's easy to wonder why being in love with someone or living in fear is so different from liking or being afraid of one thing or another. Differences arise, because what we "like," for example, is definable but who we "love" isn't. We assume that all words are definable, but love isn't, and neither is faith, appreciation, passion, or a host of other words which relate to love. In truth, we can't define the sensation of fear, sin, or temptation either. Why is it that we give such importance to words which can't be defined, and why is it that many of our "words," including mind, soul, and God, escape definition when we're certain that we "know what they mean?" It's only by "appreciating" certain words, that an "understanding" is achieved. Our relationship with God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit are explored. Not in a theological context, but a "sensational" one-not so different from a "sixth sense" perspective. Contents of this book also include considerations of anger, addiction, homosexuality, pain management, and much more. An attempt is made to tie up all these seemingly diverse subjects into one tightly knit package.
In this edited volume, Jean Petrucelli brings together the work of talented clinicians and researchers steeped in working with eating disordered patients for the past 10 to 35 years. Eating disorders are about body-states and their relational meanings. The split of mindbody functioning is enacted in many arenas in the eating disordered patient’s life. Concretely, a patient believes that disciplining or controlling his or her body is a means to psychic equilibrium and interpersonal effectiveness. The collected papers in Body-States: Interpersonal and Relational Perspectives on the Treatment of Eating Disorders elaborates the essential role of linking symptoms with their emotional and interpersonal meanings in the context of the therapy relationship so that eating disordered patients can find their way out and survive the unbearable. The contributors bridge the gaps in varied protocols for recovery, illustrating that, at its core, trust in the reliability of the humanness of the other is necessary for patients to develop, regain, or have - for the first time - a stable body. They illustrate how embodied experience must be cultivated in the patient/therapist relationship as a felt experience so patients can experience their bodies as their own, to be lived in and enjoyed, rather than as an ‘other’ to be managed. In this collection Petrucelli convincingly demonstrates how interpersonal and relational treatments address eating problems, body image and "problems in living." Body States: Interpersonal and Relational Perspectives on the Treatment of Eating Disorders will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and a wide range of professionals and lay readers who are interested in the topic and treatment of eating disorders.
Best known for his great novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Tolstoy remains one the most important nineteenth-century writers; throughout his career which spanned nearly three quarters of a century, he wrote fiction, journalistic essays and educational textbooks. The specially commissioned essays in The Cambridge Companion to Tolstoy do justice to the sheer volume of Tolstoy's writing. Key dimensions of his writing and life are explored in essays focusing on his relationship to popular writing, the issue of gender and sexuality in his fiction and his aesthetics. The introduction provides a brief, unified account of the man, for whom his art was only one activity among many. The volume is well supported by supplementary material including a detailed guide to further reading and a chronology of Tolstoy's life, the most comprehensive compiled in English to date. Altogether the volume provides an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.
Tips for Public Speakers Using Proven Communication Techniques from Commercials, Television, and Film Professionals
Author: Batt Johnson
Category: Business & Economics
Powerful Principles for Presenters is the textbook used at New York University and Cornell University in Batt Johnson's public speaking class. It features proven communication techniques from commercials, television, and film professionals and explains their effective use for anyone. This helps you lose any self-consciousness, gain confidence, and deliver your message with as much power as politicians, actors, broadcasters, high profile business executives, and other public speakers seen in the media. When you can speak well you make your points clearly and effectively, convince and motivate others to action, and gain the competitive edge. This information is offered for the first time in one easy-to-read reference book for busy individuals without time to read a large volume the day before an important speech or presentation. This book is interactive-it identifies common problems for public speakers and offers immediate solutions. Each chapter has a workbook section to help you improve your skills, identify action steps, and measure your results. When you apply these simple, proven tips and techniques you will become a more powerful communicator delivering speeches that roar. "The style of Batt Johnson's book makes me feel that I am working directly with a coach." Dr. Carol Robbins-Director, Off-Campus College, Cornell University "The next best thing to learning from Batt Johnson in person is what you've got in your hands. He's a master communicator, and this is a great guide to his technique." Lisa Napoli-Internet Correspondent, MSNBC-TV "This book is an exhaustive how-to guide which will provide a primer for the rookie and an effective refresher for the seasoned veteran." Rapheal M. Prevot Jr.-Labor Relations Counsel, National Football League "As a financial professional, the tips have proved invaluable in the art of 'friendly persuasion.' " John Krysko-Financial Planner, American Express Company "All the busy businessperson needs to make presentations with impact is here in Batt Johnson's book. You owe it to your audience to read and use this!" Nancy Rosanoff-Past President, New York Chapter of the National Speakers Association and author of Making Money Through Intuition