The Brain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Michael O'Shea

By Michael O'Shea

The mind: a truly brief creation presents a non-technical creation to the most concerns and findings in present mind examine and offers a feeling of the way neuroscience addresses questions on the connection among the mind and the brain. brief, transparent discussions at the mechanical workings of the mind are provided and the main points of mind technology are coated in an available type. reasons of the extra commonly used implications of the brain's activities, equivalent to stories, perceptions, and motor regulate are built-in in the course of the e-book. It has chapters on mind procedures and the motives of "altered psychological states," in addition to a last bankruptcy that discusses attainable destiny advancements in neuroscience, referring to man made intelligence, gene treatment, the significance of the Human Genome venture, medications by way of layout, and transplants. up to date assurance of the most recent advancements in mind examine and recommendations for destiny examine at the mind also are incorporated.

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Extra info for The Brain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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This technique can be used for purely structural studies, as it was in the experiments on London taxi drivers that showed they have a larger than expected hippocampus (see Chapter 6). But in its most interesting experimental application it provides images of the brain in action. When used to reveal active regions of the brain involved in particular functions, the technique is known as functional MRI, or fMRI for short. 25 From humours to cells PET, the radioactive label is attached to molecules that bind To understand how fMRI works, and to appreciate its limitations, it is important to realize that it does not image the electrical activity of neurons directly.

Like it or not, the astonishing conclusion from comparative studies is that the evolution of our brains, capable of such extraordinary feats, did not require the evolution of ‘super neurons’. The basic cellular components of mental functions are pretty much the same in all animals, the humble and the human. In 1906 Cajal shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with Golgi, ‘in recognition of their work on the structure of the nervous system’. This was the first time that the Nobel Prize had been shared between two laureates.

By the middle of the 20th century, neuroscience had become the fastest growing discipline in the history of scientific endeavour and by the end of that century a more or less complete understanding, in exquisite molecular detail, of how neurons generate electrical and chemical signals would be achieved. The Brain surface of the skull could be ‘read’ as an index of various psychological aptitudes. The practice of phrenology grew and flourished in Europe and then in America from about 1820, becoming a popular fad in the latter part of the 19th century before effectively dying out early in the 20th century (though in fact the British Phrenological Society was not disbanded until 1967).

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