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The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are
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The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A pioneering neuroscientist argues that we are more than our brains

To many, the brain is the seat of personal identity and autonomy. But the way we talk about the brain is often rooted more in mystical conceptions of the soul than in scientific fact. This blinds us to the physical realities of mental function. We ignore bodily influences on our psychology, from chemicals
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Basic Books
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Christopher L.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent book about the neuroscience of how the interactions between what we think, how we move (or not), and who we socially engage with create the individuals we are becoming. Jasanoff's argument, in brief, is that "who we are" is the result of "the interdependent nature" of our brain, body, and environment (p. 3). Two of my favorite quotes are:
(1) "Our brains are not mysterious beacons, glowing with inner radiance against a dark void. Instead, they are organic prisms that refract the ligh
...more
Erin
May 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is more of a thought experiment than your typical popscience book. It's a lot more conjecture and theory than fact. The ideas posed are fairly common sense and I felt that the source material was limited severely by modern doctrine. The largest barrier to scientific breakthrough today remains political correctness. In some places, I felt like I was being lectured by a dinosaur with no knowledge of genetic breakthroughs and what they mean about brain function and intelligence.
Soren
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not the best book I've ever read, but the subject matter was pretty interesting. That last chapter was pretty weird.
Don  Kent
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a well written and construed book that carefully explains the interrelationships and science that regulates who we are and how the stated interrelationships make it so.
Rehmat
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Heard its audio book


The book explains how the brain is more deeply entwined with biology than is commonly thought. However, the field of biology is also more complex than it appears as well.

The brain is not the transcendent seat of the soul, nor is it a powerful supercomputer controlling our bodies from above. The brain is a biological organ, the same as a kidney or a heart, and it can be understood through scientific inquiry. What we think of as our “self” is actually the result of a complex i
...more
Paul Gibson
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Last year I had intended to stop reading on the topic of neuroscience for a while but when my wife recommended The Biological Mind book to me, I had to read it. This book is a sort of check and balance for neuroscience in general and specifically for what the author calls the “cerebral mystique.” I wonder if this was the author's intended title. The thrust of the book was to debunk the single-minded:) focus upon the brain separate from an environment. The final chapter provided an interesting de ...more
Felipe CZ
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Many people believe that our brains are disconnected or independent from the body, but this book demonstrate the complexity of the connection between body, brain and surroundings. The brain is a biological organ and what we think of our "self" is the result of our bodies interacting with our brains.
Synthia Salomon
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The brain is not the transcendent seat of the soul, nor is it a powerful supercomputer controlling our bodies from above. The brain is a biological organ, the same as a kidney or a heart, and it can be understood through scientific inquiry. What we think of as our “self” is actually the result of a complex interaction between our brains, our bodies, and the world around us.”
Jap Hengky
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
The brain is not the transcendent seat of the soul, nor is it a powerful supercomputer controlling our bodies from above. The brain is a biological organ, the same as a kidney or a heart, and it can be understood through scientific inquiry. What we think of as our “self” is actually the result of a complex interaction between our brains, our bodies, and the world around us.
Sonia Kolodziej
Bardzo mnie wymęczyła ta książka. Spodziewałam się czegoś innego. Ta pozycja jest bardzo naukowa i chyba nie dla wszystkich. Najbardziej podobał mi się ostatni rozdział, w którym autor pokazuje na wymownym przykładzie co ma na myśli pisząc, że nie można oddzielać mózgu człowieka od jego ciała. Ponieważ człowiekiem nie są poszczególne jego organy tylko całość, która harmonijnie się uzupełnia
P Michael N
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A convincing read about how we should view the brain. The book also does a good job of covering the latest developments and trends that came before.
The last chapter really brought it home.
Taylor Lee
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
Alan Jasanoff writes engagingly a tale of the whole-body brain.
Russell Christenson
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Worth a read. Not ground breaking — unless you thought your were autonomous with free will. You can’t separate the human, the mind, the person from the body or the environment.
Madalsa
Nov 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: didnt-finish
Didn't engage me in the first 50 pages
Cheryl
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
There were some very interesting parts of this book, and I did learn a few new things, but overall it was very dry. The last chapter was also particularly strange.
Armen Shirvanian
Great MIT Professor

Interview with him at:

Episode 206 with Professor Alan Jasanoff
...more
Bruce
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Apr 21, 2018
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Brain Science Pod...: BS 146 Alan Jasanoff on "the Biological Mind" 1 6 Jun 22, 2018 06:31AM  

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