Cordelia Fine's A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives PDF

By Cordelia Fine

ISBN-10: 0393331636

ISBN-13: 9780393331639

The brain's energy is proven and touted on a daily basis in new experiences and learn. And but we have a tendency to take our brains with no consideration, with out suspecting that these plenty of hard-working neurons would possibly not consistently be operating for us. Cordelia high quality introduces us to a mind we would no longer are looking to meet, a mind with a brain of its personal. She illustrates the brain's tendency towards self-delusion as she explores how the brain defends and glorifies the ego via twisting and warping our perceptions. Our brains hire a slew of inborn mind-bugs and prejudices, from hindsight bias to unrealistic optimism, from ethical excuse-making to wishful thinking—all designed to avoid us from seeing the reality concerning the international and the folk round us, and approximately ourselves.

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Extra resources for A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives

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If you are considering the evolution of the kidney, you want to know what the kidney is for—that is, to secrete urine (remove wastes) from the body—before you try to figure out how it evolved. The same is true for the brain. Most neuroscientists are, remarkably, unable to answer this question, but evolutionary biologists know the answer right away: The brain is for making decisions about how to enhance reproductive success. That is what the brain is for, no more no less. In its capacity to carry out that task, it can do a lot of other things, which come along for free and are what researchers have come to study while leaving unexamined the reason the brain exists.

For example, information about color, form, and motion is sent up to the cortex from the retina. The cortical organization of this information is stereotyped and precise; it is localized and bundled together in designated brain regions. How does this happen? Larry Katz and his colleagues at Duke University cleverly devised a way to stimulate retinal neurons by implanting electrodes in the optic nerve. They stimulated neurons so they synchronize nerve impulses in a way not encountered in normal development.

Hubel and Weisel discovered that the normal organization of the visual system can be changed by simply patching one eye at birth. This alters the neuronal wiring pattern in the visual cortex—instead of most neurons responding to information from both eyes, they respond to information from one eye. Changing the natural activity of the neurons leading from the retina to the cortex modifies the neuronal wiring of the cortex. Normal development is obviously influenced by neuronal activity; hence it is activity dependent.

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A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine

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