Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Anil Seth,Geraint Rees
Publsiher: Psychology Press
Total Pages: 88
Release: 2013-05-13
ISBN 10: 1135900604
ISBN 13: 9781135900601
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

How do conscious experience, subjectivity, and free will arise from the brain and the body? Even in the late 20th century, consciousness was considered to be beyond the reach of science. Now, understanding the neural mechanisms underlying consciousness is recognized as a key objective for 21st century science. The cognitive neuroscience of consciousness is a fundamentally multidisciplinary enterprise, involving powerful new combinations of functional brain imaging, computational modelling, theoretical innovation, and basic neurobiology. Its progress will be marked by new insights not only into the complex brain mechanisms underlying consciousness, but also by novel clinical approaches to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. These innovations are well represented by the contents of the present volume. A target article by Victor Lamme puts forward the contentious position that neural evidence should trump evidence from behaviour and introspection, in any theory of consciousness. This article and its several commentaries advance one of the fundamental debates in consciousness science, namely whether there exists non-reportable phenomenal consciousness, perhaps dependent on local rather than global neural processes. Other articles explore the wider terrain of the new science of consciousness. For example, Maniscalco and colleagues use theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation to selectively impair metacognitive awareness; Massimini and coworkers examine changes in functional connectivity during anesthesi, and Vanhaudenhuyse et al describe innovations in detecting residual awareness following traumatic brain injury. Together, then contents of this volume exemplify the `grand challenge of consciousness' in combining transformative questions about the human condition with a tractable programme of experimental and theoretical research.

The Neurology of Consciousness

The Neurology of Consciousness
Author: Steven Laureys,Olivia Gosseries,Giulio Tononi
Publsiher: Academic Press
Total Pages: 488
Release: 2015-08-12
ISBN 10: 0128011750
ISBN 13: 9780128011751
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Neurology of Consciousness Book Review:

The second edition of The Neurology of Consciousness is a comprehensive update of this ground-breaking work on human consciousness, the first book in this area to summarize the neuroanatomical and functional underpinnings of consciousness by emphasizing a lesional approach offered by the study of neurological patients. Since the publication of the first edition in 2009, new methodologies have made consciousness much more accessible scientifically, and, in particular, the study of disorders, disruptions, and disturbances of consciousness has added tremendously to our understanding of the biological basis of human consciousness. The publication of a new edition is both critical and timely for continued understanding of the field of consciousness. In this critical and timely update, revised and new contributions by internationally renowned researchers—edited by the leaders in the field of consciousness research—provide a unique and comprehensive focus on human consciousness. The new edition of The Neurobiology of Consciousness will continue to be an indispensable resource for researchers and students working on the cognitive neuroscience of consciousness and related disorders, as well as for neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists contemplating consciousness as one of the philosophical, ethical, sociological, political, and religious questions of our time. New chapters on the neuroanatomical basis of consciousness and short-term memory, and expanded coverage of comas and neuroethics, including the ethics of brain death The first comprehensive, authoritative collection to describe disorders of consciousness and how they are used to study and understand the neural correlates of conscious perception in humans. Includes both revised and new chapters from the top international researchers in the field, including Christof Koch, Marcus Raichle, Nicholas Schiff, Joseph Fins, and Michael Gazzaniga

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 243
Release: 2001
ISBN 10: 9780262541312
ISBN 13: 0262541319
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

Empirical and theoretical foundations of a cognitive neuroscience ofconsciousness.

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Author: Elaine K. Perry,Daniel Collerton,Fiona E.N. LeBeau,Heather Ashton
Publsiher: John Benjamins Publishing
Total Pages: 330
Release: 2010-10-28
ISBN 10: 9027288046
ISBN 13: 9789027288042
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness Book Review:

A fascinating cornucopia of new ideas, based on fundamentals of neurobiology, psychology, psychiatry and therapy, this book extends boundaries of current concepts of consciousness. Its eclectic mix will simulate and challenge not only neuroscientists and psychologists but entice others interested in exploring consciousness. Contributions from top researchers in consciousness and related fields project diverse ideas, focused mainly on conscious nonconscious interactions: 1. Paving the way for new research on basic scientific - physiological, pharmacological or neurochemical - mechanisms underpinning conscious experience (‘bottom up’ approach); 2. Providing directions on how psychological processes are involved in consciousness (‘top down’ approach); 3. Indicating how including consciousness could lead to new understanding of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, dementia, and addiction; 4. More provocatively, but still based on scientific evidence, exploring consciousness beyond conventional boundaries, indicating the potential for radical new thinking or ‘quantum leaps’ in neuroscientific theories of consciousness. (Series B)

Being You

Being You
Author: Anil Seth
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2021-10-19
ISBN 10: 1524742872
ISBN 13: 9781524742874
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Being You Book Review:

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A Best Book of 2021—Bloomberg Businessweek; A Best Science Book of 2021—The Guardian; A Best Science Book of 2021—Financial Times; A Best Philosophy Book of 2021—Five Books; A Best Book of 2021—The Economist Anil Seth's quest to understand the biological basis of conscious experience is one of the most exciting contributions to twenty-first-century science. What does it mean to “be you”—that is, to have a specific, conscious experience of the world around you and yourself within it? There may be no more elusive or fascinating question. Historically, humanity has considered the nature of consciousness to be a primarily spiritual or philosophical inquiry, but scientific research is now mapping out compelling biological theories and explanations for consciousness and selfhood. Now, internationally renowned neuroscience professor, researcher, and author Anil Seth is offers a window into our consciousness in BEING YOU: A New Science of Consciousness. Anil Seth is both a leading expert on the neuroscience of consciousness and one of most prominent spokespeople for this relatively new field of science. His radical argument is that we do not perceive the world as it objectively is, but rather that we are prediction machines, constantly inventing our world and correcting our mistakes by the microsecond, and that we can now observe the biological mechanisms in the brain that accomplish this process of consciousness. Seth has been interviewed for documentaries aired on the BBC, Netflix, and Amazon and podcasts by Sam Harris, Russell Brand, and Chris Anderson, and his 2017 TED Talk on the topic has been viewed over 11 million times, a testament to his uncanny ability to make unimaginably complex science accessible and entertaining.

Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience

Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience
Author: Antti Revonsuo,Matti Kamppinen
Publsiher: Psychology Press
Total Pages: 312
Release: 2013-06-17
ISBN 10: 1134783094
ISBN 13: 9781134783090
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience Book Review:

Consciousness seems to be an enigmatic phenomenon: it is difficult to imagine how our perceptions of the world and our inner thoughts, sensations and feelings could be related to the immensely complicated biological organ we call the brain. This volume presents the thoughts of some of the leading philosophers and cognitive scientists who have recently participated in the discussion of the status of consciousness in science. The focus of inquiry is the question: "Is it possible to incorporate consciousness into science?" Philosophers have suggested different alternatives -- some think that consciousness should be altogether eliminated from science because it is not a real phenomenon, others that consciousness is a real, higher-level physical or neurobiological phenomenon, and still others that consciousness is fundamentally mysterious and beyond the reach of science. At the same time, however, several models or theories of the role of conscious processing in the brain have been developed in the more empirical cognitive sciences. It has been suggested that non-conscious processes must be sharply separated from conscious ones, and that the necessity of this distinction is manifested in the curious behavior of certain brain-damaged patients. This book demonstrates the dialogue between philosophical and empirical points of view. The writers present alternative solutions to the brain-consciousness problem and they discuss how the unification of biological and psychological sciences could thus become feasible. Covering a large ground, this book shows how the philosophical and empirical problems are closely interconnected. From this interdisciplinary exploration emerges the conviction that consciousness can and should be a natural part of our scientific world view.

The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness

The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness
Author: Philip David Zelazo,Morris Moscovitch,Evan Thompson
Publsiher: Cambridge University Press
Total Pages: 135
Release: 2007-05-14
ISBN 10: 113946406X
ISBN 13: 9781139464062
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness Book Review:

The Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness is the first of its kind in the field, and its appearance marks a unique time in the history of intellectual inquiry on the topic. After decades during which consciousness was considered beyond the scope of legitimate scientific investigation, consciousness re-emerged as a popular focus of research towards the end of the last century, and it has remained so for nearly 20 years. There are now so many different lines of investigation on consciousness that the time has come when the field may finally benefit from a book that pulls them together and, by juxtaposing them, provides a comprehensive survey of this exciting field. An authoritative desk reference, which will also be suitable as an advanced textbook.

The Boundaries of Consciousness Neurobiology and Neuropathology

The Boundaries of Consciousness  Neurobiology and Neuropathology
Author: Steven Laureys
Publsiher: Elsevier
Total Pages: 632
Release: 2006-06-09
ISBN 10: 9780080476209
ISBN 13: 0080476201
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Boundaries of Consciousness Neurobiology and Neuropathology Book Review:

Consciousness is one of the most significant scientific problems today. Renewed interest in the nature of consciousness - a phenomenon long considered not to be scientifically explorable, as well as increasingly widespread availability of multimodal functional brain imaging techniques (EEG, ERP, MEG, fMRI and PET), now offer the possibility of detailed, integrated exploration of the neural, behavioral, and computational correlates of consciousness. The present volume aims to confront the latest theoretical insights in the scientific study of human consciousness with the most recent behavioral, neuroimaging, electrophysiological, pharmacological and neuropathological data on brain function in altered states of consciousness such as: brain death, coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, locked-in syndrome, dementia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, hysteria, general anesthesia, sleep, hypnosis, and hallucinations. The interest of this is threefold. First, patients with altered states of consciousness continue to represent a major clinical problem in terms of clinical assessment of consciousness and daily management. Second, the exploration of brain function in altered states of consciousness represents a unique lesional approach to the scientific study of consciousness and adds to the worldwide effort to identify the "neural correlate of consciousness". Third, new scientific insights in this field have major ethical and social implications regarding our care for these patients.

Neuroscience Consciousness and Spirituality

Neuroscience  Consciousness and Spirituality
Author: Harald Walach,Stefan Schmidt,Wayne B. Jonas
Publsiher: Springer Science & Business Media
Total Pages: 300
Release: 2011-08-31
ISBN 10: 9789400720794
ISBN 13: 9400720793
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Neuroscience Consciousness and Spirituality Book Review:

Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality presents a variety of perspectives by leading thinkers on contemporary research into the brain, the mind and the spirit. This volumes aims at combining knowledge from neuroscience with approaches from the experiential perspective of the first person singular in order to arrive at an integrated understanding of consciousness. Individual chapters discuss new areas of research, such as near death studies and neuroscience research into spiritual experiences, and report on significant new theoretical advances. From Harald Walach’s introductory essay, “Neuroscience, Consciousness, Spirituality – Questions, Problems and Potential Solutions,” to the concluding chapter by Robert K. C. Foreman entitled “An Emerging New Model for Consciousness: The Consciousness Field Model,” this book represents a milestone in the progress towards an integrated understanding of spirituality, neuroscience and consciousness. It is the first in a series of books that are dedicated to this topic.

Cognition Brain and Consciousness

Cognition  Brain  and Consciousness
Author: Bernard J. Baars,Nicole M. Gage
Publsiher: Academic Press
Total Pages: 672
Release: 2010-02-04
ISBN 10: 9780123814401
ISBN 13: 0123814405
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Cognition Brain and Consciousness Book Review:

Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness, Second Edition, provides students and readers with an overview of the study of the human brain and its cognitive development. It discusses brain molecules and their primary function, which is to help carry brain signals to and from the different parts of the human body. These molecules are also essential for understanding language, learning, perception, thinking, and other cognitive functions of our brain. The book also presents the tools that can be used to view the human brain through brain imaging or recording. New to this edition are Frontiers in Cognitive Neuroscience text boxes, each one focusing on a leading researcher and their topic of expertise. There is a new chapter on Genes and Molecules of Cognition; all other chapters have been thoroughly revised, based on the most recent discoveries. This text is designed for undergraduate and graduate students in Psychology, Neuroscience, and related disciplines in which cognitive neuroscience is taught. New edition of a very successful textbook Completely revised to reflect new advances, and feedback from adopters and students Includes a new chapter on Genes and Molecules of Cognition Student Solutions available at http://www.baars-gage.com/ For Teachers: Rapid adoption and course preparation: A wide array of instructor support materials are available online including PowerPoint lecture slides, a test bank with answers, and eFlashcords on key concepts for each chapter. A textbook with an easy-to-understand thematic approach: in a way that is clear for students from a variety of academic backgrounds, the text introduces concepts such as working memory, selective attention, and social cognition. A step-by-step guide for introducing students to brain anatomy: color graphics have been carefully selected to illustrate all points and the research explained. Beautifully clear artist's drawings are used to 'build a brain' from top to bottom, simplifying the layout of the brain. For students: An easy-to-read, complete introduction to mind-brain science: all chapters begin from mind-brain functions and build a coherent picture of their brain basis. A single, widely accepted functional framework is used to capture the major phenomena. Learning Aids include a student support site with study guides and exercises, a new Mini-Atlas of the Brain and a full Glossary of technical terms and their definitions. Richly illustrated with hundreds of carefully selected color graphics to enhance understanding.

Philosophy Neuroscience and Consciousness

Philosophy  Neuroscience and Consciousness
Author: Rex Welshon
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2016-09-17
ISBN 10: 1315478757
ISBN 13: 9781315478753
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Philosophy Neuroscience and Consciousness Book Review:

Explaining consciousness is one of the last great unanswered scientific and philosophical problems. Immediately known, familiar and obvious, consciousness is also baffling, opaque and strange. This introduction to the problems posed by consciousness discusses the most important work of cognitive science, neurophysiology and philosophy of mind of the past thirty years and presents an up to date assessment of the issues and debates. The reader is first introduced to the way that consciousness has been thought about in the history of philosophy and psychology. The author then presents an informal and largely non-technical account of the properties of consciousness that are thought to be the most paradigmatic and problematic. Recent scientific work on consciousness, from neurophysiological studies of the brain and evolutionary studies of the development of consciousness to computational theories of the mind are then examined and the philosophical problems that these accounts raise are systematically introduced. The final chapters of the book consider more practical matters by addressing self-deception, neuroses, the unconscious and notions of the self, before concluding with an assessment of the future for psychology and the philosophy of mind.

Finding Consciousness in the Brain

Finding Consciousness in the Brain
Author: Peter G. Grossenbacher
Publsiher: John Benjamins Publishing
Total Pages: 326
Release: 2001-01-01
ISBN 10: 9789027251282
ISBN 13: 9027251282
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Finding Consciousness in the Brain Book Review:

How does the brain go about the business of being conscious? Though we cannot yet provide a complete answer, this book explains what is now known about the neural basis of human consciousness.The last decade has witnessed the dawn of an exciting new era of cognitive neuroscience. For example, combination of new imaging technologies and experimental study of attention has linked brain activity to specific psychological functions. The authors are leaders in psychology and neuroscience who have conducted original research on consciousness. They wish to communicate the highlights of this research to both specialists and interested others, and hope that this volume will be read by students concerned with the neuroscientific underpinnings of subjective experience. As a whole, the book progresses from an overview of conscious awareness, through careful explanation of identified neurocognitive systems, and extends to theories which tackle global aspects of consciousness. (Series B)

Consciousness and the Brain

Consciousness and the Brain
Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2014-01-30
ISBN 10: 0698151402
ISBN 13: 9780698151406
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness and the Brain Book Review:

WINNER OF THE 2014 BRAIN PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Reading in the Brain and How We Learn, a breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state. We can now pin down the neurons that fire when a person reports becoming aware of a piece of information and understand the crucial role unconscious computations play in how we make decisions. The emerging theory enables a test of consciousness in animals, babies, and those with severe brain injuries. A joyous exploration of the mind and its thrilling complexities, Consciousness and the Brain will excite anyone interested in cutting-edge science and technology and the vast philosophical, personal, and ethical implications of finally quantifying consciousness.

Cognition Computation and Consciousness

Cognition  Computation  and Consciousness
Author: Masao Ito,Yasushi Miyashita,Edmund T. Rolls
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 135
Release: 1997-05-29
ISBN 10: 0191660752
ISBN 13: 9780191660757
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Cognition Computation and Consciousness Book Review:

The topic of consciousness is truly multidisciplinary, attracting researchers and theorists from diverse backgrounds. It is now widely accepted that previously disparate areas all have contributions to make to the understanding of the nature of consciousness. Thus, we now have computational scientists, neuroscientists, and philosophers all engaged in the same effort. This book illustrates these three approaches, with chapters provided by some of the most important and provocative figures in the field. The first section is concerned with philosophical approaches to consciousness. One of the fundamental issues here is that of subjective feeling or qualia. The second section focuses on approaches from cognitive neuroscience. Patients with different types of neurological problems, and new imaging techniques, provide rich sources of data for studying how consciousness relates to brain function. The third section includes computational approaches looking at the quantitative relationship between brain processes and conscious experience. Cognition, Computation, and Consciousness represents a uniquely integrated and current account of this most fascinating and intractable subject.

Consciousness

Consciousness
Author: Andrea Eugenio Cavanna,Andrea Nani
Publsiher: Springer
Total Pages: 203
Release: 2014-09-30
ISBN 10: 3662440881
ISBN 13: 9783662440889
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness Book Review:

This book reviews some of the most important scientific and philosophical theories concerning the nature of mind and consciousness. Current theories on the mind-body problem and the neural correlates of consciousness are presented through a series of biographical sketches of the most influential thinkers across the fields of philosophy of mind, psychology and neuroscience. The book is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to philosophers of mind and the second, to neuroscientists/experimental psychologists. Each part comprises twenty short chapters, with each chapter being dedicated to one author. A brief introduction is given on his or her life and most important works and influences. The most influential theory/ies developed by each author are then carefully explained and examined with the aim of scrutinizing the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to the nature of consciousness.

The Science of Consciousness

The Science of Consciousness
Author: Trevor A. Harley
Publsiher: Cambridge University Press
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2021-02-28
ISBN 10: 1107125286
ISBN 13: 9781107125285
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

The Science of Consciousness Book Review:

An introduction to the psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience of consciousness, including sleep, dreaming, meditative, and altered states.

Sources Of Consciousness The Biophysical And Computational Basis Of Thought

Sources Of Consciousness  The Biophysical And Computational Basis Of Thought
Author: Herbert Sydney Green,Terry T Triffet
Publsiher: World Scientific
Total Pages: 368
Release: 1997-07-01
ISBN 10: 9814497940
ISBN 13: 9789814497947
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Sources Of Consciousness The Biophysical And Computational Basis Of Thought Book Review:

The phenomenon of consciousness has long been one of the great mysteries of life, perhaps because it is inexplicable in terms of the deterministic theories of classical science. Today there is some consensus that the key to the understanding of the workings of the mind should be sought in the area of indeterministic quantum mechanics, but until recently there has been little substantial progress in unravelling the mystery. This book is the culmination of several decades of research by the authors in the physical sciences, neurosciences and computer sciences, with comprehensive summaries and references to related work by many other scientists, and presents important advances toward solving the problem. Written for the most part in plain language but supported by appropriate symbolism, the book is truly interdisciplinary, designed for the needs of a wide variety of students and scholars.

Brain Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience

Brain  Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience
Author: C.U.M. Smith,Harry Whitaker
Publsiher: Springer Science & Business
Total Pages: 369
Release: 2014-04-23
ISBN 10: 9401787743
ISBN 13: 9789401787741
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brain Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience Book Review:

This volume of essays examines the problem of mind, looking at how the problem has appeared to neuroscientists (in the widest sense) from classical antiquity through to contemporary times. Beginning with a look at ventricular neuropsychology in antiquity, this book goes on to look at Spinozan ideas on the links between mind and body, Thomas Willis and the foundation of Neurology, Hooke’s mechanical model of the mind and Joseph Priestley’s approach to the mind-body problem. The volume offers a chapter on the 19th century Ottoman perspective on western thinking. Further chapters trace the work of nineteenth century scholars including George Henry Lewes, Herbert Spencer and Emil du Bois-Reymond. The book covers significant work from the twentieth century, including an examination of Alfred North Whitehead and the history of consciousness, and particular attention is given to the development of quantum consciousness. Chapters on slavery and the self and the development of an understanding of Dualism bring this examination up to date on the latest 21st century work in the field. At the heart of this book is the matter of how we define the problem of consciousness itself: has there been any progress in our understanding of the working of mind and brain? This work at the interface between science and the humanities will appeal to experts from across many fields who wish to develop their understanding of the problem of consciousness, including scholars of Neuroscience, Behavioural Science and the History of Science.

A Day in the Life of the Brain

A Day in the Life of the Brain
Author: Susan Greenfield
Publsiher: Allen Lane
Total Pages: 273
Release: 2016
ISBN 10: 9780141985046
ISBN 13: 0141985046
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

A Day in the Life of the Brain Book Review:

"Each of us has a unique, subjective inner world, one that we can never share directly with anyone else. But how does a tangle of brain cells conjure up this experience? Despite the remarkable progress that has been made in understanding the brain, consciousness still poses one of the greatest challenges to science. In this groundbreaking book, world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield illuminates the mystery of consciousness as she traces a single day in the life of the brain - from being awoken by an alarm to walking the dog, working in an open plan office to dreaming. Greenfield concludes that the answer to the enigma of consciousness may be found in neuronal assemblies - a process that her Oxford lab, along with others around the world, is investigating. Drawing on this pioneering research and on diverse findings from physics, philosophy and psychology, A Day in the Life of the Braingives us a bold new way of understanding who we are."

Mind Shift

Mind Shift
Author: John Parrington
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2021-04-22
ISBN 10: 0192521640
ISBN 13: 9780192521644
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Mind Shift Book Review:

John Parrington argues that social interaction and culture have deeply shaped the exceptional nature of human consciousness. The mental capacities of the human mind far outstrip those of other animals. Our imaginations and creativity have produced art, music, and literature; built bridges and cathedrals; enabled us to probe distant galaxies, and to ponder the meaning of our existence. When our minds become disordered, they can also take us to the depths of despair. What makes the human brain unique, and able to generate such a rich mental life? In this book, John Parrington draws on the latest research on the human brain to show how it differs strikingly from those of other animals in its structure and function at a molecular and cellular level. And he argues that this 'shift', enlarging the brain, giving it greater flexibility and enabling higher functions such as imagination, was driven by tool use, but especially by the development of one remarkable tool - language. The complex social interaction brought by language opened up the possibility of shared conceptual worlds, enriched with rhythmic sounds, and images that could be drawn on cave walls. This transformation enabled modern humans to leap rapidly beyond all other species, and generated an exceptional human consciousness, a sense of self that arises as a product of our brain biology and the social interactions we experience. Our minds, even those of identical twins, are unique because they are the result of this extraordinarily plastic brain, exquisitely shaped and tuned by the social and cultural environment in which we grew up and to which we continue to respond through life. Linking early work by the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky to the findings of modern neuroscience, Parrington explores how language, culture, and society mediate brain function, and what this view of the human mind may bring to our understanding and treatment of mental illness.