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The Private Life Of The Brain

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  12 reviews
As our knowledge of the brain grows beyond the wildest expectations, the time is ripe to explore pleasure in terms of workings of the mind. Pleasure is the most marvellous sensation, the most prized state, but also, properly understood, the most basic type of consciousness. Understanding pleasure suggests new ways of understanding consciousness itself - by looking at the n ...more
Published February 1st 2002 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published May 29th 2000)
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Rory Ashton
This writer believes themselves to be more interesting than they actually are. Every other sentence is a jam packed michael bay movie. Having trouble moving forward as the book never seems to start but is endlessly spinning its wheels to impresses you.

Randomly chosen passage:

"Drugs. Whisper the word and immediately you are in smoky opium dens, or face-to-face with the brutalized alcoholic, or peering over the shoulder of the adolescent glue sniffer, or cross-legged on the student floor, beatifi
Frank Jude
Oct 17, 2009 Frank Jude rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in the science of consciousness.
Nueroscientist Greenfield offers up a hypothesis waiting for more advanced technology to test it. The good news is that it IS falsifiable, so it's scientifically coherent. Central to her thinking is that the brain creates consciousness and the unique sense of a self from the mechanics of neuronal functioning that correlate with emotions. Thus, Greenfield says, emotions are the most basic form of consciousness and determine, ultimately, the depth and or breath (or lack of such) of consciousness. ...more
Daniel Wood
"What is happening in the brain when we drink too much alcohol, get high on Ecstasy or experience road rage?"

These and other questions neuroscientist Susan Greenfield attempts to answer whilst proposing a hypothesis on how emotion, conciousness and mind are formed within the brain.

A fairly heavy read that had me rereading several parts to properly understand the reasoning, this is nonetheless a very enjoyable book. The chapters on The Child and The Junkie I found particularly interesting.

A criti
I enjoyed the book a lot, but found it a bit difficult to slog through, probably because I don't have any background in neurology at all. The endnotes are very clear and helpful, though, and she lays out her model very clearly.

I'm still a bit confused on the working definition of consciousness, though. If it's purely 'self awareness' then why are dreams considered non conscious? I was also bothered that the quantum association was added, since it seems to be predicated on a pretty wacky strong-
Enjoyed every bit, very enlightening, pleased to know why somethings happen
Jun 13, 2014 MiChAeLPaUl marked it as fini  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books, fiction
The inner workings of the brain ignite as the gates of consciousness open up for the mind.
not as readable as "a user's guide to the brain," but very interesting. it takes a while to get used to her sophisticated lines of logic, but it's totally worth looking at. just read the user's guide first, i'd say.
I had to read this for one of my classes in college. I really enjoyed reading it. I am glad that there are more than one kind of intelligence, and I don't have to be book smart to be considered intelligent.
It's been a few years since I read this book. I can't remember the content just my irritation that a scientist should not have collected her ideas better and written less sloppily.
Tim Dempsey
Not the most accessible read but interesting. Certainly not a page turner!
Easy to grasp. Very interesting.
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Greenfield is Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford. On 1 February 2006, she was installed as Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Until 8 January 2010, she was director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain
More about Susan A. Greenfield...
The Human Brain: A Guided Tour ID: The Quest for Meaning in the 21st Century Brain Story: Unlocking Your Inner World of Emotions, Memories, and Desires Tomorrow's People: How 21st-Century Technology Is Changing the Way We Think and Feel 2121: A Tale From the Next Century

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