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Alchemy of Mind The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain

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ISBN-10: 0743246721

ISBN-13: 9780743246729

Edition: 2004

Authors: Diane Ackerman

List price: $25.00
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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 5/25/2004
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 6.25" wide x 10.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Diane Ackerman was born on October 7, 1948 in Waukegan, Illinois, and received her B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and her M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University. Poet, author, educator, adventurer, and naturalist, she tries to bridge science and art in her writing, exploring questions of who we are, where we come from, and how we fit into the fabric of the world. Ackerman's poetry has been published in many journals and in the books The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral (1976), Wife of Light (1978), and Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems (1991). Her nonfiction works include A Natural History of the Senses; A Natural History of Love; The Moon by…    

Contents Miracle Waters(Evolution)
The Enchanted Loom
Imagining the brain
This Island Earth
Evolution; the world's tiniest reptile; our brain and other animals'
Why We Ask "Why?"
What happens in the right brain vs. the left brain; why we're driven to tell stories
The Fibs of Being
Consciousness; some definitions and theories
Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines
The unconscious; how it collaborates with the conscious mind
Sweet Dreams of Reason(The Physical Brain)
The Shape of Thought
Neurons, dendrites, axons; how all the parts speak to each other
Inner Space
Synapses, the plasticity of the brain; how we influence brain development; medication and the brain
Attention Please
How we unconsciously choose what to pay attention to; multitasking; absentmindedness
A Passion for Patterns
How our brain quests for meaning in what it senses
In the Church of the Pines
The spiritual brain
Einstein's Brain
What happened to it? Was it different?
The Mind's Eye
The brain's ability to imagine/see things that aren't in view at the time Pavilions of Desire(Memory)
What Is a Memory?
The importance of memory to who we are; how memories are formed; how they're influenced
Reflections in a Gazing Ball
How memories are recalled; association of pain and memory; unconscious memory
Remember What?
What happens when we learn; words on the tip of the tongue; Alzheimer's and the aging brain; IQ; short-term vs. long-term memory; how memories affect the present
Remember, I Dream
The role of dreams in memory
"Hello," He Lied
True and false memories; subliminally influencing thought and memory
Traumatic Memories
How they're stored and recalled; connections between emotions and memory
Smell, Memory, and the Erotic
Proust; perfume; love.Never a Dull Torment(The Self, and Other Fictions)
Introducing the Self
How we think of ourself; the multiple facets of a self
The Other Self
Body and mind; immune system and brain; brain damage and loss of self
Nature vs. nurture; genetics and experience; development as babies
"Shall It Be Male or Female? Say the Cells
"Male and female brains; if they work differently; how they're shaped; how traits get passed on
Creating Minds
Artistic minds, mathematical minds -- inherited, cultivated; how they differ; synesthesia
The World Is Breaking Someone Else's Heart(Emotions)
The Emotional Climate
Anger, stress, adrenaline, how they affect and are relieved by the brain; our brain isn't made for the modern world; fear, painful thoughts
The Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness as hereditary and achieved; the difference in the brain between natural and forced laughter; optimistic and pessimistic brains
The Color of Saying(Language)
Memory's Accomplice
Language acquisition, use, and nonverbal thinking
Metaphors Be with You
How words organize experience
The Color of Saying
The origin of words; how we reveal ourselves through words; the brain finding relations among things
Shakespeare on the Brain
How Shakespeare's brain was different
The Wilderness Within(The World We Share)
Evolution of life; how our brain came to be
Conscience and Consciousness
Are we the only conscious an