The Accidental Mind
How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God
By (author) David J. Linden
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Accidental Mind by David J. Linden
Book DescriptionYou've probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain's elegant design in reverent tones.To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is a paragon of design--and in its place gives us a compelling explanation of how the brain's serendipitous evolution has resulted in nothing short of our humanity. A guide to the strange and often illogical world of neural function, "The Accidental Mind" shows how the brain is not an optimized, general-purpose problem-solving machine, but rather a weird agglomeration of ad-hoc solutions that have been piled on through millions of years of evolutionary history. Moreover, Linden tells us how the constraints of evolved brain design have ultimately led to almost every transcendent human foible: our long childhoods, our extensive memory capacity, our search for love and long-term relationships, our need to create compelling narrative, and, ultimately, the universal cultural impulse to create both religious and scientific explanations. With forays into evolutionary biology, this analysis of mental function answers some of our most common questions about how we've come to be who we are.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674030589
(203mm x 178mm x 19mm)
Imprint: The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 17-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author David J. Linden
Touch, Paperback (February 2016)
Exploring the many surprising facts and myths about our sense of touch, this book reveals how it defines us - and how, by understanding it, we can better know ourselves.
Pleasure, Paperback (February 2012)» View all books by David J. Linden
A leading brain scientist's look at the neurobiology of pleasure - and how pleasures become addictions
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Author Biography - David J. Linden
David J. Linden is Professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
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