Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio R. Damasio

By Antonio R. Damasio

From essentially the most major neuroscientists at paintings this day, a pathbreaking research of a query that has confounded philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists for hundreds of years: how is cognizance created?

Antonio Damasio has spent the previous thirty years learning and writing approximately how the mind operates, and his paintings has garnered approval for its singular melding of the medical and the humanistic. In Self involves Mind, he is going opposed to the long-standing concept that awareness is in some way become independent from the physique, featuring compelling new clinical facts that consciousness--what we expect of as a brain with a self--is firstly a organic procedure created via a residing organism. along with the 3 conventional views used to review the brain (the introspective, the behavioral, and the neurological), Damasio introduces an evolutionary standpoint that includes a thorough swap within the method the historical past of unsleeping minds is seen and advised. He additionally advances an intensive speculation concerning the origins and sorts of emotions, that's primary to his framework for the organic building of awareness: emotions are grounded in a close to fusion of physique and mind networks, and primary emerge from the traditionally previous and humble mind stem instead of from the fashionable cerebral cortex.

Damasio means that the brain's improvement of a human self turns into a problem to nature's indifference and opens the way in which for the looks of tradition, an intensive holiday during evolution and the resource of a brand new point of existence regulation--sociocultural homeostasis. He leaves doubtless that the blueprint for the work-in-progress he calls sociocultural homeostasis is the genetically well-established simple homeostasis, the curator of worth that has been found in uncomplicated life-forms for billions of years. Self involves Mind is a groundbreaking trip into the neurobiological foundations of brain and self.

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At a more theoretical level, medieval medicine was characterized by reliance on classical medical authorities such as Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna, the practice of medicine being shaped by prayer and the voice of ancient authority. The classical authorities bequeathed to medieval culture the hu14 • The Essence of the Problem: Medieval Legacies moral theory of disease—a theory that had been initially formulated by Empedocles and applied to medicine by no lesser fig u res than Hippocrates and Galen (Clendening 1960, p.

After the work of Servetus and Harvey, the details of pulmonary circulation and its coupling to the general circulatory system had become much clearer. Yet there were still puzzles concerning the function of the motion of the lungs. Some physicians maintained that the motions of the lungs served to promote the circulation of the blood. Writing after Harvey, Robert Hooke (1635–1703) performed an experiment in 1667 to settle this matter—an experiment that involved the coupling of an animal machine to machines of human design.

123) But di Lucci’s work was crude and contained many errors and was in fact treated by many anatomists as a supplement to Galen. Moreover, di Lucci’s book was basically a practical dissection manual, uninformed by the powerful mechanical metaphors that made The Essence of the Problem: Medieval Legacies • 17 possible the explosion of anatomical and physiological inquiry in the Renaissance. As we will see in the next chapter, these metaphors do their work by providing the investigator with a theoretical framework in terms of which structural and functional analogies between animals of different species can be located, organized, and conceptualized.

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