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The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body…
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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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Sandra Blakesleeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blakeslee, Matthewmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? Why do you duck your head when you drive into an underground parking garage? Why are your kids so enthralled by video games?The answers to these questions can be found in a new understanding of how your brain interacts with your body, the space around your body, and the social world. Every point on your body, each internal organ, and every point in space out to the end of your fingertips is mapped inside your brain. Your ability to sense, move, and act in the physical world arises from a rich network of flexible body maps distributed throughout your brain.The science of body maps has far-reaching applications. It can help people lose weight, improve their ability to play a sport, or assist recovery from stroke. It points the way to new treatments for anorexia and phantom limbs. It helps explain out-of-body experiences, auras, placebos, and healing touch. It provides a new way to understand human emotions from love to hate, lust to disgust, pride to humiliation.With scientific discoveries from every corner of the globe, Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee have written a compelling narrative that is positively mind-bending and that will appeal to readers of Sharon Begley's Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.… (more)

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