When it comes to neuroscience, boredom rears its head from the window, the vast majority of us prefer reading about exciting things in physics such as parallel universes or black holes, but on the other hand, some think that the brain and nerve domains carry a lot of intricacies of anatomy and physiology that they don’t give you Same burst of excitement, but this idea is far from right, in fact the opposite may be true.
Over the past several decades, scientists have made tremendous, and truly interesting, progress in the study of our brains, and in fact, the results they reached were enough for a generation of neuroscientists to come out and present us with the masterpieces and secrets of the human brain, in the simplest and most exciting way possible, and in this report we will show you Five books in this domain, meet several basic conditions that we are used to in the scientific section of “Midan”, which are to be as easy as possible, and available, as well as diverse in their topics.
Let’s start together from Professor of Neuroscience Dean Burnett, from Cardiff University in Britain, and his book that has attracted attention since the back of 2016, and was recently translated into Arabic, “The Idiot Brain”. In this book, Burnett gives a slick introduction to our brains and their influence in every aspect of our lives, using a satirical style that matches his hobby of stand-up comedy.
The book, driving boredom, oscillates between three basic aspects, the first is the basic brain functions and their relationships with memory, intelligence or how to organize the affairs of the body, the second is the relationship of our brains to our psychological state, whether we are normal or sick, and the third is the relationship of our brains with the society around us, and how it was built so that It supports communication, so the book, on the whole, is a really rich and varied dose of neuroscience and psychology, extending to biology, evolutionary psychology, and anthropology.
The book is distinguished by the fact that it contains so many titles within each chapter, that it is as if you are reading a large group of small articles, and the writer was already – before working on the “idiot brain” – writing a column on the brain and nerves in the Guardian newspaper, which gave him a significant experience in Present information to the general reader.
This is the second time that we refer to this book by David Eagleman, an American neuroscientist from Stanford University, and the reason is that it is still an important sign on the road to simplifying the sciences related to the brain for the general reader, and if Burnett in the previous book had referred to Brain Functions From the point of view of our daily lives, Eagleman is a man of the amazing and the wondrous questions.
Eagleman simply makes you wonder about everything around you, is everything you see, hear and perceive real? Is the red color you see in an apple the same red color that I see in the same apple? This may be a little strange, but the answer is that it is not. In fact, what we perceive is as close to a distortion as we all agree on, but it is not the reality of what it is.
Do you make your own decisions? Do you have free will? Are there things you don’t realize that influence your decisions? Are you just a group of nerve signals interacting together in a complex interaction or are you “you”? Well, this book on the brain is really capable of blowing your mind because of the amount of excitement it provides, especially with Eagleman’s brilliant approach to presenting neuroscience, and he’s one of the very few who has an ability so smoothly in this range.
In the previous two books we introduced the brain in general, and now we will begin together to examine some aspects or issues of which the brain is a part, and we will begin with Susan Blackmore’s book “Awareness – A Very Short Introduction”, and the writer has a story, as she began her university life believing in the myths of the hippies of her time – before Several decades – beginning with astral projection and spiritual treatments, and eventually reached one of the fiercest attackers of these myths, and between the two cases it went through, I wondered about one of the most important scientific issues of the era, what is consciousness?! What does it mean that you – you are inside who feels himself and is reading these words now – aware of all this?
Even the question, you note, seems difficult, because we are simply investigating something by using the same thing. As for Susan Blackmore, she has tried to present the answers of scientists and philosophers, so far, to this question quite simply and smoothly, and in her book, which does not go beyond 130 papers, which briefly dealt with the most famous questions in this field, for example: Is what we see, hear and feel with our hands really the reality? Can human perception be deceived? Can we tamper with his consciousness?
The book is not entirely easy, but it is also not difficult for a lay reader. Its small size, which is the nature of that series in the first place (a very short introduction) made it fat, but it is not without interesting mental experiments, and simplified examples as much as possible, which encourage you to delve into it to the last page. Because the subjects of consciousness are inherently complex and intertwined, Blackmore undoubtedly ranks high on the list of “simple books” in this domain.
Helen Fisher, a specialist in anthropology and human behavior from Rutgers University in the United States, takes the brain to another realm, which is “love”, and in her book “Why Love? The Nature and Chemistry of Love” she places the brain as one of the many and complex elements that explain why we experience this strange feeling. On the one hand, the brain can cause us to feel longing, fondness, sadness of parting, and excitement about the presence of our beloved, all of which are bursts of neurotransmitters running through our brain.
But the matter does not stop there. Love, as we said, is much more complex than that, and in this wonderful comprehensive book, the writer presents an evolutionary anthropological understanding of the subject of love, and answers questions on everyone’s mind, for example: Is love separate from sex, or are they two sides of a coin? Feeling the same? Is love just about physical attraction, or does it have a responsibility aspect?
Fischer’s style is calm and simple, and she combines science with literature in an exquisite way, to the extent that entire chapters of her book are literary in character, and consequently required a special translator for literary writings, and with this book she makes a rarely seen mixture between romance as seen by the poet and novelist and as seen by a neuroscientist. A very special mixture.
In this book, Norman Doidge, a specialist in psychotherapy, tries to present a relatively new area in brain sciences, which is neuroplasticity, which means the flexibility of the brain and its ability to change itself to conform to the new situation, as a result of an accident, for example, or a disease that corrupts some of its working mechanisms. We were always taught that neurons cannot be compensated, but now we are sure that this is wrong, not only because they renew themselves, but also because this process of change can be directed.
In eleven chapters, Doidge is interested in telling the story of some patients who suffered greatly with mental and neurological illnesses, but were saved by neuroplasticity exercises. This book, despite its large size, in a short period may not exceed a week or two.
When it comes to neural plasticity in particular, we must pause. This range – as we have said – is relatively new and promising, and it is necessary for the general reader to learn about it, but despite that, one of the most important features of the books that discuss it is the exaggeration of the assertion of the potential of neural plasticity to the point of It may be thought of as the panacea for everything, and Dodge’s book does that too sometimes, so you should tread carefully in the book about these exaggerations.
Well, just try and you will not lose anything, it is necessary to expand our reading ranges from time to time, especially in neurosciences and brain sciences, and more especially if we are fans of the philosophy of mind. It is indeed intriguing that all discussions of this matter among professionals and hobbyists in social media, or even seminars and academic reports, almost completely ignore the role that neuroscience has played recently in understanding our minds and consciousness