characters The Brain The Story of You 109

characters The Brain The Story of You

characters The Brain The Story of You 109 Þ ❮KINDLE❯ ❆ The Brain The Story of You Author David Eagleman – Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the uestions a

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The Story PDFEPUB #191 Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity Join renowned The Brain PDF neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the uestions at the mysterious heart of our existence What is reality Who. Writing a popular science book I won't use the abhorrent term pop science is a dicey affair If it becomes too scientific it is not likely to be popular; but if it dumbs the science down too much it tends not to be taken seriously by discerning readers So the writer of such a tome has a tough time striking exactly the right note that is why very few people succeed in this field David Eagleman is one such and this book is gemHaving read Sum Forty Tales from the Afterlives by the author a uirky look at possible after death scenarios nothing to do with science I knew Eagleman was a gifted writer It seems that he is a neuroscientist as well And when two such talents combine in one person a book like this is what we get The Brain The Story of You is a book about the brain and the entity that lives inside it you It is a tale of both the hardware and the software of the brain and about the danger of considering it in those terms alone It talks about the machine and speculates on when the ghost enters it And all this is done in the spirit of scientific enuiry with plenty of real life examplesSo strap in for a whistle stop tour into the inner cosmos In the infinitely dense tangle of billions of brain cells and their trillions of connections I hope you’ll be able to suint and make out something that you might not have expected to see in there YouThe book is divided into six chapters1 Who Am I The ultimate philosophical uestion; one which had great men from both the Orient and the Occident running around in circles The author approaches this from a scientific point of view The human brain is largely undeveloped at birth; until the early twenties it still absorbing information and moulding itself This lack of finish gives the human brain the astonishing adaptability and flexibility it has and this is what makes it different from the animals whose brains are or less hardwiredNow coming to the ghost in the machine what is the self Is it only the electrical impulses generated in the hardware of the brain But even the brain is not unchangingWithin about seven years every atom in your body will be replaced by other atoms Physically you are constantly a new you Fortunately there may be one constant that links all these different versions of your self together memorySo are we the sum total of our memories But memory gets constantly faded renewed replaced and even falsified; so does that mean our self awareness is also falseWell to a certain extent yes because we are all works in progress Here I found the author's views on self awareness remarkably similar to the Buddhist concept of the anatman a similarity I noticed in Susan Black's Consciousness A Very Short Introduction too What is important is that there is no common denominator for the brainEach of us is on our own trajectory – steered by our genes and our experiences – and as a result every brain has a different internal life Brains are as uniue as snowflakes2 What is Reality Once we have decided that the self is transitory the next big uestion is the nature of reality; what lies out there Because there is no way we can see this objectively Reality to us is what we experience; and with our snowflake uniue brain each experience is bound to be differentNo one is having an experience of the objective reality that really exists; each creature perceives only what it has evolved to perceiveRight We Indians knew that all along no What we call mayaOur brain does a great job of filtering editing and adapting the sensory input we obtain so that we get a picture of reality that is censored based on what we need to know for survival and what the brain already knowsSo what is reality It’s like a television show that only you can see and you can’t turn it off The good news is that it happens to be broadcasting the most interesting show you could ask for edited personalized and presented just for you3 Who's in Control Well most of the time the conscious brain isn't Most of the time we are on autopilot allowing the conscious part of the brain free to take the really big decisions Just think about the things you do automatically without thinking about them at all like taking a bath in the morning or driving to work The complex levels of sensory and motor co ordination reuired for these tasks are handled at underneath the hood so to speakI think of consciousness as the CEO of a large sprawling corporation with many thousands of subdivisions and departments all collaborating and interacting and competing in different ways Small companies don’t need a CEO – but when an organization reaches sufficient size and complexity it needs a CEO to stay above the daily details and to craft the long view of the companyThe author leaves the troublesome uestion of free will unresolved apparently the jury is still out on that one4 How Do I Decide Well apparently not based on sound logical reasoning as the rationalists would like to think we will leave that to the Vulcans Our brain is always in conflict with itself playing off the rewards of one decision against the other also immediate gratification against future benefit In this case also the brain is also on a continuous learning curve rewiring itself not to repeat bad decisions And the emotional content of the decision is as important as the rational oneWhen making life and death decisions unchecked reason can be dangerous; our emotions are a powerful and often insightful constituency and we’d be remiss to exclude them from the parliamentary voting The world would not be better if we all behaved like robotsOne exciting possibility Eagleman brings up in this chapter is the reformation of wrongdoers through rewiring of the brain and no it's not like A Clockwork OrangeEuipped with an understanding of how human brains actually make decisions we can develop new approaches beyond punishment As we come to better appreciate the operations inside our brains we can better align our behavior with our best intentions Although societies possess deeply ingrained impulses for punishment a different kind of criminal justice system – one with a closer relationship to the neuroscience of decisions – can be imagined Such a legal system wouldn’t let anyone off the hook but it would be concerned with how to deal with law breakers with an eye toward their future rather than writing them off because of their past5 Do I Need You From a neurological viewpoint definitely No man is an island Eagleman shows us through various examples how naturally empathetic we are it's not all evolutionary competition Disorders like autism which prevent such natural bonding create severely limited individualsTo empathize with another person is to literally feel their pain You run a compelling simulation of what it would be like if you were in that situation Our capacity for this is why stories – like movies and novels – are so absorbing and so pervasive across human culture Whether it’s about total strangers or made up characters you experience their agony and their ecstasy You fluidly become them live their lives and stand in their vantage points When you see another person suffer you can try to tell yourself that it’s their issue not yours – but neurons deep in your brain can’t tell the differenceActually grouping together is advantageous from the evolutionary point of view But the flip side is that the ingroups creates outgroups out of necessity a fact that Desmond Morris has also touched upon in The Human Zoo A Zoologist's Study of the Urban Animal and this is the beginning of conflict And outgroups can be objectified and dehumanised through propaganda in the worst case leading to genocideGenocide is only possible when dehumanization happens on a massive scale and the perfect tool for this job is propaganda it keys right into the neural networks that understand other people and dials down the degree to which we empathize with themIn the current world we sadly have enough examples of this Eagleman gives us a fascinating example of a school experiment and indicates how education can teach children about the dangers of dehumanisationEducation plays a key role in preventing genocide Only by understanding the neural drive to form ingroups and outgroups – and the standard tricks by which propaganda plugs into this drive – can we hope to interrupt the paths of dehumanization that end in mass atrocityFor we need to rememberYou might assume that you end at the border of your skin but there’s a sense in which there’s no way to mark the end of you and the beginning of all those around you Your neurons and those of everyone on the planet interplay in a giant shifting super organism What we demarcate as you is simply a network in a larger networkYes indeed Personally I found this chapter to be the most exciting6 Who Will We Be Now it's time for speculation plug and play devices into the brain to take care of handicaps; sensory augmentation; keeping the brain in suspended animation; uploading one's consciousness into a computer; artificial intelligence science fiction Maybe Like space travel was science fiction once upon a time Research is ongoing in all these areas with exciting possibilities opening up every dayOne thing in conclusion my review contains only the bare bones of the book I have left out the various real world examples Eagleman uses to bolster his arguments for fear of bloating it up These examples are actually the most endearing part of the bookRead it It's terrific

David Eagleman Û 9 summary

The Brain The Story of YouAre “you” How do Brain The Story PDFEPUB #190 you make decisions Why does your brain need other people How is technology poised to change what it means to be human  In the course of his investigations Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports criminal justice facial expressions. This is a great introductory read with simple explanations for general readers But for further readings we could check the notes section Highly recommended for introduction purpose make it 5 star for this purposeThis book made me want to read other books related to brain or neuro science