(Beginner-)Books on the brain.

John johnhkm at logicworld.com.au
Wed Dec 2 03:31:36 EST 1998


Below a rapidly scrambled together collection from an amateur so hopefully
my choices will be suitable. If I insert "Later" at the top of the reference
I am advising you to put these on the backburner. Any marked "Ready" might
be worth approaching first, but it has been many years since I read most of
the below so please excuse any errors.

I hope you appreciate this, the list is annotated but took much longer than
I would have liked! Still, many here have contributed likewise to myself so
enjoy. They're are a number of very capable professionals in this ng so I
also advise that you stick around, if only to listen. Additionally, there
are a number of good internet resources which you'll no doubt find in time.

Be warned, if you start this as a hobby it can suck you in. You can never
stop learning here. Learn enough so that you don't get fooled by all those
misleading press reports and popular books kicking about. People really get
carried away with this stuff.

Above all, learn their jargon. They create truckloads of it (necessary) so
make a concerted effort and it will make all future reading immeasurably
more rewarding. I wish someone told me this many years ago.



As to brain cells growing back, refer to


Brain Repair
Author  [Stein, Donald G, Brailowsky, Simon, Will, Bruno
Publisher [Oxford University Press
Place Pub [New York
Date  [1995


Very challenging and first rate account. This work is an
extraordinary achievement, but will be incomprehensible to you for a while
yet ...

Title  [The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of language and the human
Author  [Terrence Deacon
Publisher [Allen Lane: The Penquin Press
Place Pub [London
Date  [1997

The Brain

Title  [The Brain
Author  [Time-Life Books
Publisher [Time-life
Place Pub [Virginia
Date  [1990


Title  [Secrets of the Inner Mind: Journey Through the Mind and Body
Author  [Time-Life Books, Sommerville, R. ed.
Publisher [Time-Life
Place Pub [Amsterdam
Date  [1993

Later, but a very good introduction to dreaming, although I believe his
ideas have fallen away since first publication.

Title            [ The Dreaming Brain
Author        [Hobson, Andrew
Source        [ library
Page           [    Title


Reestak is very good value for amateurs.

[The Brain Has a Mind of its Own
   Author [Richard Reestak
Publisher [
Place Pub [New York
     Date [1991
   Source [Library
    Issue [
     Page [
    Notes [Very good articles by this neurologist. brain damage and mental
illness. temporal lobe epilepsy neurology, consciousness


Calvin also has a good web page to introduce you to many aspects of

  Title [!The Throwing Madonna: Essays on the Brain
   Author [William Calvin
Publisher [New Sciences
Date [1983
   Source [library
Notes [neurophysiology, Tic Douloureux 105, Schizophrenia 120, language 154
ff  Title


Again, Great read and entertaining stuff. Nobel Prize winner. Excellent
accounts of research, which you need to gain some inkling of at some point.

[!Eye, Brain, and Vision
   Author [David H. Hubel
Publisher [Scientific American Library
Place Pub [New York
     Date [1988
   Source [
    Issue [
     Page [
    Notes [


This French Professor of Neurophysiology reveals that nation's wonderful
propensity for creating gifted communicators.

Title [ The Biology of Emotions
   Author [ Jean-Didier Vincent
Publisher [Blackwell
Place Pub [Oxford
     Date [1986, transl. 1990
    Issue [
     Page [151ff
    Notes [hypo and fight\flight. 165,6 pain. 175ff. hunger and thirst.
           drugs at 165ff. endorphins.246,7 hippocampus. 229
    Notes [prefrontal and frontal.127 dopamine, 136 morphine. 146ff pleasure
    Notes [Triune Brain,108 epilepsy, 109,124 instinct and desire.98ff
    Notes [reticular formation.96 temporal lobes100 hypothalamus,


But remember, welcome to California. Ornstein does a good job in
communicating but tends to get carried away. Nonetheless, a good starting
point but keep a firm grip on the extrapolation reigns.

  Title [The Healing Brain
   Author [Ornstein, Robert E.
Publisher [USA
    Date [1991
   Source [Library
  Notes [brain, neuro-science, health, holistic,psychology, philosophy,
behaviour, consciousness, self.

Later! Later!

Brilliant collation of material. One day I'll read it again and perhaps not
be so confused ... .

Title [From Neuropsychology to Mental Structure
   Author [Tim Shallice
    Date [1988
   Source [Consc. Explained, ???
    Issue [
     Page [
    Notes [ readit, brain, consciousness, perception, self,

Ready sortof.

Writes well, Crick is good value but takes some work.

Title  [The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul
Author  [Crick, Francis
Publisher [Charles Scribner's Sons
Place Pub [New York
Date  [1994
Source  [Wynnum Library 153 CRI


Not about the brain per se, but he gets much closer than most other
philosophers. If you keep going in neuroscience at some point you're going
to start hearing about Dennett.

Title [Consciousness Explained
   Author [Daniel Dennett
Page [356
    Notes [ On filling in of perceptual field. Mentions jazz by Minsky
    On Thalmic region and Crick's idea re,.184-7: Baldwin Effect, idea of
evolutionary advantage of plasticity gaining quick dominance in the gene
pool.244 ff and 322: writing
   Page [393-95
    Notes [Thalamic region, limbic.

As above for Ornstein.

Title [The Evolution of Consciousness
   Author [Ornstein
     Page [pp 81-4
    Notes [emotions, travel through the limbic system to the cortex,
allowing them to avoid concsious control. happy left, sad right.
196ff dreams and rem sleep
neural Darwinism, consciousness, philosophy
multimind concept

A good casual read, fascinating case histories.

Title            [The Strange, Familiar and Forgotten: An Anatomy of
Author        [Rosenfield, Israel
Notes         [No bones to structure, interesting cases, low theory.


Title            [The Roots of the Self
Author        [Robert Ornstein
Publisher  [Harper
Place Pub [San Francisco
Date           [1993
Source      [library
Page          [
Notes         [96 schizophrenia, 90/1 : orbitofrontal cortex and caudate
nucleus, Isaac   Newton 71, Reticular Activating System, Left and Right
Handedness 157-60,153-4 others too, Limbic system, 64-67, Some on genetics,
emotions and hemispheres 75,6, Margaret Mead and her large errors!, thymus
163, left handedness


Good layman read of memory. George Johnson is an excellent science writer
and makes the difficult easy.

Title [In the Palaces of Memory
   Author [George Johnson
Publisher [Grafton
Place Pub [London
     Date [1992
   Source [library
Notes [very good look at memory from neurphysiological viewpoint with good
look at leading scientists methodologies and how theories evolve on this.
neurotransmitters, artificial intelligence, neural nets, connectionism, some
epistemology, magnets and brain cells, philosophy.


British psychiatrist with good style and approachable text. Enjoy.

Title [Viewpoints
   Author [Charles Rycroft
Publisher [The Hogarth Press
Place Pub [London
     Date [1991
   Source [library
    Issue [
     Page [
    Notes [creativity, thinking, psychiatry, psychology, selfhood and
self-awareness. Contains jazz about introduction to mirrors in 16th
c.creativity, thinking, psychaitry, psychology, selfhood and self-awareness.
"The Creative Self": imagining, creativity, self-awareness.59ff, 32ff
159ff: mirrors and self concept


On intelligence and IQ testing. Well written by competent scientists
concerned with impartiality and not drum beating.

Title [The Descent of Mind
   Author [ Peter Evans and Geoff Deehan
Publisher [
Place Pub [ Mildly useful, authors overstate claims, good eg of IQ jazzand
animal consciousness.
     Date [1990
   Source [
   Notes [animal consciousness: 129ff. IQ testing 33-7, 155-66
          (national levels). intelligence, self, artificial
          intelligence 103-14,122-4, education, learning, multiple selves,
intelligence and creativity 59-67, 73 on idea that smart people use less
neurones in solving a problem.

Kristian wrote in message <36641a1c.7350868 at nntpserver.swip.net>...
>I'm looking for books on the brain, for a beginner like me. The main areas
>of my interest are what different parts of the brain do, how receptors
>how addiction work, how different compounds influences the brain, and
>..well, yeah, those are my main interests, but pretty much everything is
>interesting (maybe that was "pretty much everything" :).
>I've ordered Richard Restaks "Receptors" (1994) and I've already read his
>"Brainscapes" (1996) which I think was good, but maybe a bit superficial.
>The newer the book, the greater (of course), as I imagine a lot has
>only in these two latest years (for example the discovery that certain
>brain-cells can grow back..).
>Also of interest would be good, reliable science-papers and www-sites.
>Thanks in advance.
>You haven't become addicted, have you Cole..
>            ..to that dying world?

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