Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/1/27
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A tour of today's cutting-edge brain research challenges readers to reevaluate the essence of human personality and fate, explaining how the brain predicts and processes events, describing breakthroughs in biofeedback technology, citing the sources of creativity and ideas, and offering insight into brain neurochemistry. 50,000 first printing.
David Shenkauthor of "The Forgetting: Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic"What good is living in an age of discovery if only a handful of people understand what's being discovered? With this book, Steven Johnson builds an extraordinary bridge between today's trailblazing neuroscientists and the rest of us. His mind-opening and potentially life-changing insight is that virtually anyone can now learn enough about brain chemistry and circuitry to personally explore -- and perhaps even reshape -- the contours of his or her own mind.商品の説明をすべて表示する
Here in Dallas, there is a Farmer's Market near the downtown area where several merchants offer slices of fresh fruit as samples of their wares. In that same spirit, I offer a selection of brief passages representative of the high quality of Johnson's skills.
"Unlike so many technoscientific advances, the brain sciences and their imaging technologies are, almost by definition, a kind of mirror. They capture what our brains are doing and reflect that information back to us. You gaze into the glass, and the reflection says to you, `Here is your brain.' This book is the story of my journey into that mirror." (Page 17)
"The attention system works as a kind of assembly line: higher-level functions are built on top of lower-level functions. So if you have problems encoding, you'll almost certainly have problems with supervisory attention. When people notice attention impairments, they're usually detecting problems with the focus/execute or supervisory levels, but the original source of the problem may well be farther down the chain, or it might be localized to a particular sensory channel." (Page 93)
"Understanding the roots of laughter requires a kind of hybrid of the Darwinian and Freudian models. We laugh primarily because laughter is a crucial component of the emotional glue that connects parent and child during the vulnerable years of development. Children who laugh and roughhouse and tickle with their guardians create powerful bonds of affection with those grown-ups, and the bonds help them survive." (Page 127)
"For reasons probably both generic and cultural, I am not much of a mystic, but these flashes of insight [while writing this book] were the closest thing I had to the experience of mysticism. These sparks were the transcendence that Keats sought when he commanded us to `open wide the mind's caged doors.'"
Note: The quotation is from the beginning of John Keats's poem, "Fancy":
"Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home'
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander'
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's caged-door
She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar."
"To me, one of the most moving discoveries in the brain sciences - after a century f Darwinian conflict and Oedipal struggle - has been the emerging understanding of the brain's affiliative systems. Our brains are designed to love and connect as much as they are designed to flee and fight." (Page 264)
To his great credit, Steven Johnson relies on layman terms (to the extent possible) to explain the neurological context of dozens of everyday situations. For example, How to "read" people accurately? Why and how do we devise self-delusions? How to explain what I characterize as "the invisibility of the obvious"? What is the neurochemistry behind love, hate, joy, rage, and other extreme emotions? With what does a brain "teem"? Why and how can great works of art (painting, sculpture, music, ballet) move us to tears? And in anticipation of a book Johnson wrote years later, where do breakthrough ideas originate?
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to read Steven Johnson's later works as well as Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow, Gerald Edelman's Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit, and Jonah Lehrer's Imagine.