Published: New York : Pantheon Books, c2011 Edition: 1st American ed Description: 290 p. : ill. ; 25 cm ISBN/ISSN: 9780307377333 (hardback), 0307377334 (hardback), Language: English
"This book will shine light on some of the hard-to-reach places in the brain, showing the ways in which we are not the ones driving the boat. Why does the conscious mind know so little? What do visual illusions unmask about the machinery running under the hood? How much of our lives are determined by choices and behaviors that are hard-wired, unconscious, and beyond our control? Do we have any management over who we find gorgeous or repugnant? How is it possible to get angry at yourself: who exactly, is mad at whom? If the drunk Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite and the sober Mel Gibson is authentically apologetic, is there a real Mel Gibson? Why did Supreme Court Justice William Douglas claim that he was able to play football and go hiking, when everyone could see that he was paralyzed after his stroke? Why do people willingly give up their money to banks for Christmas accounts (and why don't monkeys do this)? Why do patients on Parkinson's medications become compulsive gamblers? Why do athletes follow routines, like bouncing the ball three times before taking a free throw? Why did Charles Whitman suddenly kill his family and shoot forty six others from the UT Austin tower, and what did this have to do with his brain? How much of who we are is in the genes, and how much in the environment? Does free will exist or not, and how does that affect our view of blameworthiness and credit? The emerging understanding of the brain drastically changes our view of ourselves, shifting us from an intuitive sense that we are at the center of the operations, to a more sophisticated, illuminating, and wondrous view of the situation"--Provided by publisher
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