The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.
But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.
With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.
All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us.
In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian (who holds degrees in computer science, philosophy, and poetry, and works at the intersection of all three) and Tom Griffiths (a UC Berkeley professor of cognitive science and psychology) show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.
In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? How the Mind Works synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life.
This edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.
"Categorization is a key concept across the range of cognitive sciences, including linguistics and philosophy, yet hitherto it has been hard to find accounts that go beyond the concerns of one or two individual disciplines. The Handbook of Categorization in Cognitive Science provides just the sort of interdisciplinary approach that is necessary to synthesize knowledge from the different fields and provide the basis for future innovation."
Professor Bernard Comrie, Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
"Anyone concerned with language, semantics, or categorization will want to have this encyclopedic collection."
Professor Eleanor Rosch, Dept of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, USA
NEW TO THIS EDITIONIncludes a new chapter on evolutionary psychology, an important emerging field in the cognitive sciences. Offers fully updated research, including subjects such as embodied cognition and extended cognition (philosophy), bilingualism indicating its wide-ranging effects on brain capabilities (linguistics), and current work in neuroplasticity (neuroscience). A new image program helps illustrate new and key concepts in the text. The companion website contains helpful pedagogical features to aid faculty and students.
Praise for The Cognitive Sciences, Second Edition
“I am impressed with the completeness of the text. I have suffered from some tunnel vision thinking that all cognitive science intros needed to be more thematic. The field approach of this one is a refreshing change.”
- Kenneth M. Moorman, Transylvania University
“You have a winner. It is well organized, cutting edge, theoretical, and substantive, and easy to read. The stories and contextualization of the material for the reader was the biggest strength of this text.”
- Thelon Byrd Jr., Bowie State University
“The text is clear, organized, and, overall, very well-written. In fact, it has been a pleasure to read. It should be very accessible to undergrads in an introductory cognitive science course, whether majors or not."
- Michael R. Scheessele, Indiana University South Bend