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An Anatomy of Thought

The Origin and Machinery of the Mind

An Anatomy of Thought by Ian Glynn
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Drawing on a dazzlingly wide array of disciplines--physiology, neurology, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and philosophy--Ian Glynn explains virtually every aspect of the workings of the brain, unlocking the mysteries of the mind.Here are the mechanics of nerve messages; the functioning of sensory receptors; the processes by which the brain sees, tastes, and smells; the seats of language, memory, and emotions. Glynn writes with exceptional clarity and offers telling examples: to help explain vision, for instance, he discusses optical illusions as well as cases of patients who suffer disordered seeing through healthy eyes (such as the loss of the ability to recognize familiar faces). The breadth of Glynn's erudition is astonishing, as he ranges from parallel processing in computers to the specialization of different regions of the brain (illustrated with fascinating instances of the bizarre effects of localized brain damage). He explains the different types of memory (episodic and semantic, as well as short-term and implicit memory), traces the path through the brain of information leading to emotional responses, and engages in a discussion of language that takes in Noam Chomsky and Hawaiian pidgin. Moreover, for every subject Glynn addresses, he offers a thorough-going scientific history. For example, before discussing the evolution of the brain, he provides an account of the theory of evolution itself, from the writing and success of The Origin of Species to recent work on the fossil record, DNA, and RNA.No other single volume has captured the full expanse of our knowledge of consciousness and the brain. A work of unequaled authority and eloquence, An Anatomy of Thought promises to be a new landmark of scientific writing.
Oxford University Press; April 2003
465 pages; ISBN 9780198031321
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Title: An Anatomy of Thought
Author: Ian Glynn