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Good Books about the Human Brain?

  1. Jun 6, 2005 #1
    This isn't a book review, so forgive me if I'm posting it in the wrong place. o:)

    Anyways, I am looking for some reccomendations on books about how the human brain works... consciousness, subconciousness, dreams, memories, telekenesis, recent research findings, etc. I don't want anything that is too technical... I'm an engineer, not a doctor. :wink: Thanks in advance.

    -chief
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2005 #2
    "too Technical" i'm assuming not a grad text or a book about neural firign or a neurobiology but most neuropsych text are easy to read.

    are you looking for brain parts or brain processes? Alot of neuropsychology text books
    give you chapters by process. I haven't picked up a good book that does it by brain parts but kandel i believe is but its $$. Anyways I suggest starting with a good book
    on what makes up the brain->Pinel and then moving on to the processes-> Coren. but its also important to study how the brain develops(topics in plasticity and celldeath)

    J Pinel (UBC) "Neuropsychology" Is a very good book to look at the overall structure of
    brain
    Coren & Ward "Sensation and Perception" goes indepth for undergrads in vision and audition so its a pretty nice book and it dwells on physics so its cool.
    Lisa Eliot "what going on up there" is a child development book
    M. Farah "Neurovision"
    can't rememebr a good audition book.
     
  4. Jun 7, 2005 #3
    Thanks for the reply neurocomp. I have looked up the books you listed and a couple of them do look interesting... I'm not really looking for a college text book though. I'd like to find something that is more for casual reading. Maybe similar to how The Elegant Universe is for string theory... something that gives me the background I need without too much detail and then discusses some of the other topics I listed above. I have searched on Amazon and there seems to be a lot out there on the subject, but I'm having a hard time finding specifically what I am looking for. Thanks again. :biggrin:
     
  5. Jun 7, 2005 #4
    "casual reading" like a bathroom read...most of those textbooks are(they are not standard biology text which are boring)...I mean you'll have to look into the books to weed out the chapters you don't need to read...but as fo rlight reading as in physics I doubt there is much if your looking to study the brain indepth.

    teh question becomes what is your purpose to understanding the brain?
    [1]are you looking to study cognitive aspects of the brain...behaviours without actually studying the brain components
    [2]are you looking to study processes and how brain components handle them
    [3]are you looking to study brain components and the brain as a whole.

    if its [1] then there are plenty of books.

    if its 2 or 3 it gets harder to find them because you need to go indepth to really study the brain. I have two books that might interest you
    Rita Carter "Mapping the Mind" its decent and will probably suit your purpose and it has pretty pictures. I would also suggest to pick up pinel's book or the like to hav ea indepth book handy.

    Ian Glynn "Anatomy of THought" decent though i'm not done reading it.

    ...
    I think you first need to start off with understanding the Neuron/Synapse
    and if you already have move onto how the brain is comprised before
    starting to look at "isolated" processes ie memory, taste, vision, imagery etc
    (the brain is a very cyclic graph). The Neuron/Synapse you should be able to find in any book. But the brain as a whole is sometimes very hard to find...Pinel Ch3-4 is very good and the Carter book as a simple explanation.

    You may want to understand different cell types and firing patterns but you'll come across them when you study the processes...I also suggest picking up a child development book because its not only important to see how the brain handle s a processes but how the processes may be grown.
     
  6. Jun 7, 2005 #5
    chief,
    You might want to try Phantoms in the Brain by V.S.Ramachandran. I was intrigued by the phenomenon of the Phantom Limb Syndrome after I watched a tv programme on it. I recnetly bought this book, but haven't yet had the time to read it. The author is an expert in this field and you can take a look at the book's reviews at the link provided.

    Regards,
    Navneeth
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  7. Jun 8, 2005 #6
    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Mapping the Mind looks like a good place for me to start. Phantoms in the Brain also looks interesting so I will pick up a copy of it too. :)
     
  8. Jun 11, 2005 #7
    I just finished reading How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker and I highly recommend it.
     
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