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The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body…

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do…

by Sandra Blakeslee, Matthew Blakeslee

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Fascinating summary of the many years of research into how the brain has "maps" for its interactions and relationships with the world, starting with the work of Wilder Penfield in the 1930's and concluding with the notion that our brains are not directed by some central "homunculus" but rather we{you} "...have the irreducible illustion of being the conductor of your life's music in all its coplexity, emotional nuance, crescendo and diminuendo - the ballad that is the you-ness of you."

Our brains have "maps" of neural circuitry that adjust to our circumstances and surroundings - the Blakeslees provide NUMEROUS fascinating examples of how our brains can incorporate even the tools we use into our "body maps" such that our brain "sees" the tools as extensions of our bodies.

One might be tempted to conclude, after reading this book, that the Blakeslees are suggesting that our consciousness is the sum-total of the interactions of these maps.

Whether or not such is the case, the descriptions they provide of the ongoing scientific research are fascinating as are their inclusions of some of the bizarre illusions that one can safely try for oneself regarding sensations of one's own body (and even mentally incorporating someone else's body part(s) into one's one map)! ( )
1 vote motjebben | Jul 10, 2010 |
This book ties together a lot of current brain research in a very readable form. Although I had read of most of the research before in New Scientist magazing and in other books on the brain, this book was excellent in tying it all together and making it entertaining. ( )
  Scrabblenut | May 30, 2008 |
The Body Has a Mind of Its Own explains how you can tap into the power of body maps to do almost anything better–whether it is playing tennis, strumming a guitar, riding a horse, dancing a waltz, empathizing with a friend, raising children, or coping with stress.
The story of body maps goes evenfurther, providing a fresh look at the causes of anorexia, bulimia, obsessive plastic surgery, and the notorious golfer’s curse “the yips.” It lends insights into culture, language, music, parenting, emotions, chronic pain, and more.
Filled with illustrations, wonderful anecdotes, and even parlor tricks that you can use to reconfigure your body sense, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own will change the way you think–about the way you think.
“The Blakeslees have taken the latest and most exciting finds from brain research and have made them accessible. This is how science writing should always be.”
–Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., author of The Ethical Brain
“Through a stream of fascinating and entertaining examples, Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee illustrate how our perception of ourselves, and indeed the world, is not fixed but is surprisingly fluid and easily modified. They have created the best book ever written about how our sense of ‘self’ emerges from the motley collection of neurons we call the brain.”
–Jeff Hawkins, co-author of On Intelligence
“The Blakeslees have taken the latest and most exciting finds from brain research and have made them accessible. This is how science writing should always be.”
–Michael S. Gazzaniga, Ph.D., author of The Ethical Brain
“A marvelous book. In the last ten years there has been a paradigm shift in understanding the brain and how its various specialized regions respond to environmental challenges. In addition to providing a brilliant overview of recent revolutionary discoveries on body image and brain plasticity, the book is sprinkled with numerous insights.”
–V. S. Ramachandran, M.D., director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego
1 vote robertsgirl | Oct 26, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sandra Blakesleeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blakeslee, Matthewmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Two generations of science writers explore the "body maps" that are in the brain, and how new discoveries about the mind-body connection can change and improve our lives.

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