Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
*An NBC News Notable Science Book of 2015*
*Named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2015*
*A Book of the Month for Brain HQ/Posit Science*
*Selected by Forbes as a Must Read Brain Book of 2015*
*On Life Changes Network’s list of the Top 10 Books That Could Change Your Life of 2015*
In the tradition of Oliver Sacks, a tour of the latest neuroscience of schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ecstatic epilepsy, Cotard’s syndrome, out-of-body experiences, and other disorders—revealing the awesome power of the human sense of self from a master of science journalism.
Anil Ananthaswamy’s extensive in-depth interviews venture into the lives of individuals who offer perspectives that will change how you think about who you are. These individuals all lost some part of what we think of as our self, but they then offer remarkable, sometimes heart-wrenching insights into what remains. One man cut off his own leg. Another became one with the universe.
We are learning about the self at a level of detail that Descartes (“I think therefore I am”) could never have imagined. Recent research into Alzheimer’s illuminates how memory creates your narrative self by using the same part of your brain for your past as for your future. But wait, those afflicted with Cotard’s syndrome think they are already dead; in a way, they believe that “I think therefore I am not.” Who—or what—can say that? Neuroscience has identified specific regions of the brain that, when they misfire, can cause the self to move back and forth between the body and a doppelgänger, or to leave the body entirely. So where in the brain, or mind, or body, is the self actually located? As Ananthaswamy elegantly reports, neuroscientists themselves now see that the elusive sense of self is both everywhere and nowhere in the human brain.
From the Hardcover edition.
Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining "lunatics" in cold cells. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, reveals in his eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medicine" has been anything but smooth.
Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science to its late blooming maturity--beginning after World War II--as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the field's luminaries--from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel--SHRINKS is a gripping read, and an urgent call-to-arms to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses by treating them as diseases rather than unfortunate states of mind.
The New York Times–bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. Now in an updated and expanded paperback edition.
Winner of the 2015 Gold Nautilus Award in Science & Cosmology
In his groundbreaking work The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge introduced readers to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. Now his revolutionary new book shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. The Brain’s Way of Healing describes natural, noninvasive avenues into the brain provided by the energy around us—in light, sound, vibration, and movement—that can awaken the brain’s own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated chronic pain; recovered from debilitating strokes, brain injuries, and learning disorders; overcame attention deficit and learning disorders; and found relief from symptoms of autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia, with simple approaches anyone can use.
For centuries it was believed that the brain’s complexity prevented recovery from damage or disease. The Brain’s Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain’s performance and health.
Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome - the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells ten to one. What's taking place in your intestines today is determining your risk for any number of brain-related conditions.
In BRAIN MAKER, Dr. Perlmutter explains the potent interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain, describing how the microbiome develops from birth and evolves based on lifestyle choices, how it can become "sick," and how nurturing gut health through a few easy strategies can alter your brain's destiny for the better. With simple dietary recommendations and a highly practical program of six steps to improving gut ecology, BRAIN MAKER opens the door to unprecedented brain health potential.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST
Imagine spending the first forty years of your life in darkness, blind to the emotions and social signals of other people. Then imagine that someone suddenly switches the lights on.
It has long been assumed that people living with autism are born with the diminished ability to read the emotions of others, even as they feel emotion deeply. But what if we’ve been wrong all this time? What if that “missing” emotional insight was there all along, locked away and inaccessible in the mind?
In 2007 John Elder Robison wrote the international bestseller Look Me in the Eye, a memoir about growing up with Asperger’s syndrome. Amid the blaze of publicity that followed, he received a unique invitation: Would John like to take part in a study led by one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists, who would use an experimental new brain therapy known as TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, in an effort to understand and then address the issues at the heart of autism? Switched On is the extraordinary story of what happened next.
Having spent forty years as a social outcast, misreading others’ emotions or missing them completely, John is suddenly able to sense a powerful range of feelings in other people. However, this newfound insight brings unforeseen problems and serious questions. As the emotional ground shifts beneath his feet, John struggles with the very real possibility that choosing to diminish his disability might also mean sacrificing his unique gifts and even some of his closest relationships. Switched On is a real-life Flowers for Algernon, a fascinating and intimate window into what it means to be neurologically different, and what happens when the world as you know it is upended overnight.
Praise for Switched On
“An eye-opening book with a radical message . . . The transformations [Robison] undergoes throughout the book are astonishing—as foreign and overwhelming as if he woke up one morning with the visual range of a bee or the auditory prowess of a bat.”—The New York Times
“Astonishing, brave . . . reads like a medical thriller and keeps you wondering what will happen next . . . [Robison] takes readers for a ride through the thorny thickets of neuroscience and leaves us wanting more.”—The Washington Post
“Fascinating for its insights into Asperger’s and research, this engrossing record will make readers reexamine their preconceptions about this syndrome and the future of brain manipulation.”—Booklist
“Like books by Andrew Solomon and Oliver Sacks, Switched On offers an opportunity to consider mental processes through a combination of powerful narrative and informative medical context.”—BookPage
“A mind-blowing book that will force you to ask deep questions about what is important in life. Would normalizing the brains of those who think differently reduce their motivation for great achievement?”—Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain
“At the heart of Switched On are fundamental questions of who we are, of where our identity resides, of difference and disability and free will, which are brought into sharp focus by Robison’s lived experience.”—Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Effect
Do you:Want to write, but find it impossible to get started? Keep your schedules so full that you don’t have any time to write? Wait until the last minute to write, even though you know you could do a better job if you gave yourself more time? Suddenly remember ten other things that you need to do whenever you sit down to write? Sabotage your own best efforts with lost files, missed deadlines, or excessive self-criticism?
The good news is that you’re not lazy, undisciplined, or lacking in willpower, talent or ambition. You just need to learn what’s going on inside your brain, and harness the power of brain science to beat resistance and develop a productive writing habit.
In Around the Writer’s Block, Rosanne Bane-- a creativity coach and writing teacher for more than 20 years-- uses the most recent breakthroughs in brain science to help us understand, in simple, clear language, where writing resistance comes from: a fight-or-flight response hard-wired into our brain, which can make us desperate to flee the sources of our anxieties by any means possible.
Bane’s three-part plan, which has improved the productivity of thousands of writers, helps you develop new reliable writing habits, rewire the brain’s responses to the anxiety of writing, and turn writing from a source of stress and anxiety into one of joy and personal growth.
Your Brain: The Missing Manual is a practical look at how to get the most out of your brain -- not just how the brain works, but how you can use it more effectively. What makes this book different than the average self-help guide is that it's grounded in current neuroscience. You get a quick tour of several aspects of the brain, complete with useful advice about:
Brain Food: The right fuel for the brain and how the brain commands hunger (including an explanation of the different chemicals that control appetite and cravings)Sleep: The sleep cycle and circadian rhythm, and how to get a good night's sleep (or do the best you can without it)Memory: Techniques for improving your recallReason: Learning to defeat common sense; logical fallacies (including tactics for winning arguments); and good reasons for bad prejudicesCreativity and Problem-Solving: Brainstorming tips and thinking not outside the box, but about the box -- in other words, find the assumptions that limit your ideas so you can break through themUnderstanding Other People's Brains: The battle of the sexes and babies developing brains
Learn about the built-in circuitry that makes office politics seem like a life-or-death struggle, causes you to toss important facts out of your memory if they're not emotionally charged, and encourages you to eat huge amounts of high-calorie snacks. With Your Brain: The Missing Manual you'll discover that, sometimes, you can learn to compensate for your brain or work around its limitations -- or at least to accept its eccentricities.
Exploring your brain is the greatest adventure and biggest mystery you'll ever face. This guide has exactly the advice you need.
900 full-color illustrations
Principles of Neural Science, 5e describes our current understanding of how the nerves, brain, and mind function. From molecules to anatomic structures and systems to cognitive function, this comprehensive reference covers all aspects of neuroscience. Widely regarded as the field’s cornerstone reference, the fifth edition is highlighted by more than 900 full-color illustrations. The fifth edition has been completely updated to reflect the tremendous amount of new research and development in neuroscience in the last decade. Lead author Eric Kandel was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000.
Luca Turin can distinguish the components of just about any smell, from the world’s most refined perfumes to the air in a subway car on the Paris metro. A distinguished scientist, he once worked in an unrelated field, though he made a hobby of collecting fragrances. But when, as a lark, he published a collection of his reviews of the world’s perfumes, the book hit the small, insular business of perfume makers like a thunderclap. Who is this man Luca Turin, they demanded, and how does he know so much? The closed community of scent creation opened up to Luca Turin, and he discovered a fact that astonished him: no one in this world knew how smell worked. Billions and billions of dollars were spent creating scents in a manner amounting to glorified trial and error.
The solution to the mystery of every other human sense has led to the Nobel Prize, if not vast riches. Why, Luca Turin thought, should smell be any different? So he gave his life to this great puzzle. And in the end, incredibly, it would seem that he solved it. But when enormously powerful interests are threatened and great reputations are at stake, Luca Turin learned, nothing is quite what it seems.
Acclaimed writer Chandler Burr has spent four years chronicling Luca Turin’s quest to unravel the mystery of how our sense of smell works. What has emerged is an enthralling, magical book that changes the way we think about that area between our mouth and our eyes, and its profound, secret hold on our lives.
From the Hardcover edition.
Barrett begins with an overview of human cognitive adaptations and how these color our views of other species, brains, and minds. Considering when it is worth having a big brain--or indeed having a brain at all--she investigates exactly what brains are good at. Showing that the brain's evolutionary function guides action in the world, she looks at how physical structure contributes to cognitive processes, and she demonstrates how these processes employ materials and resources in specific environments.
Arguing that thinking and behavior constitute a property of the whole organism, not just the brain, Beyond the Brain illustrates how the body, brain, and cognition are tied to the wider world.
*A new book in the Basic Concepts series
*Explains the fundamental principles of neuroscience and helps students organize and condense the material they need to study
*Level of the material progressively builds from simple to complex, enabling mastery of concepts
*Content is presented in simple, jargon-free language
*Critical need-to-know information is highlights in boxes
*Numerous tables and charts help compare and contrast key information
The book presents diffusion imaging in the context of well-established, classical experimental techniques, so that readers will be able to assess the scope and limitations of the new imaging technology with respect to techniques available previously.
All chapters are written by leading international experts and cover methodology, validation of the imaging technology, application of diffusion imaging to the study of variation and development of normal brain anatomy, and disruption to the white matter in neurological disease or psychiatric disorder.
• Discusses all aspects of a diffusion MRI study from acquisition, through analysis, to interpretation, providing an essential reference text for scientists designing or interpreting diffusion MR experiments
• Practical advice on running an experiment
• Full color throughout
The book is divided into three sections covering optical principles in diffraction and image formation, basic modes of light microscopy, and components of modern electronic imaging systems and image processing operations. Each chapter introduces relevant theory, followed by descriptions of instrument alignment and image interpretation. This revision includes new chapters on live cell imaging, measurement of protein dynamics, deconvolution microscopy, and interference microscopy.
PowerPoint slides of the figures as well as other supplementary materials for instructors are available at a companion website:
Consciousness is an enigmatic beast. It's more than mere awareness – it's how we experience the world, how our subjective experience relates to the objective universe around us. And therein lies the rub, in that tiny little word "how." These kinds of questions were once the province of philosophy, religion or perhaps fantasy, but within the last few decades, neuroscientists have added a scientific voice to the discussion, using available medical technology to explore just what separates so-called "mind" from brain. How do the neural and chemical workings of our brains create our minds, our total experience of the world, our thoughts and feelings, and that sense of self that distinguishes the individual from everyone else? In this eBook, The Secrets of Consciousness, we look at what science has to say about one of humankind's most fundamental, existential mysteries. We begin at the beginning, as they say, with Section 1 on the very nature of consciousness and move on to discuss theories of neural development. In one article, author David Chalmers calls this the "hard problem," requiring an entirely new theory that places consciousness itself as a fundamental component akin to the forces of physics. In another, leading neuroscientists Christof Koch and Susan Greenfield debate exactly how the neurons and circuits in the brain create conscious awareness. Later sections go deeper into the rabbit hole and examine what we can learn from altered states such as hypnosis or anesthesia as well as the use of formerly blacklisted hallucinogens such as LSD as healing drugs. Gary Stix discusses one study on the possible therapeutic effects of LSD on the intense anxiety experienced by patients with life-threatening disease, such as cancer. Finally, Section 6 explores "The Enigma of Spirituality." David Biello takes on the search in his article, "God in the Brain," highlighting studies searching for specific neurological centers of spirituality. It's been said before, but the brain is the final frontier. Just how that brain creates not only awareness, but also integrates that awareness into creating experiences, memories, and an enduring sense of self—well, it might take overhauling not only how we study ourselves, but how we define our reality in the process of looking.
After an overview of the field and background information on recent research in biology, a series of case studies demonstrate neuroanthropology in practice. Contributors first focus on capabilities and skills -- including memory in medical practice, skill acquisition in martial arts, and the role of humor in coping with breast cancer treatment and recovery -- then report on problems and pathologies that range from post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans to smoking as a part of college social life.
ContributorsMauro C. Balieiro, Kathryn Bouskill, Rachel S. Brezis, Benjamin Campbell, Greg Downey, José Ernesto dos Santos, William W. Dressler, Erin P. Finley, Agustín Fuentes, M. Cameron Hay, Daniel H. Lende, Katherine C. MacKinnon, Katja Pettinen, Peter G. Stromberg
The science of consciousness introduces first-person methods of investigating the mind through Buddhist contemplative techniques, such as samatha, an organized, detailed system of training the attention. Just as scientists make observations and conduct experiments with the aid of technology, contemplatives have long tested their own theories with the help of highly developed meditative skills of observation and experimentation. Contemplative science allows for a deeper knowledge of mental phenomena, including a wide range of states of consciousness, and its emphasis on strict mental discipline counteracts the effects of conative (intention and desire), attentional, cognitive, and affective imbalances.
Just as behaviorism, psychology, and neuroscience have all shed light on the cognitive processes that enable us to survive and flourish, contemplative science offers a groundbreaking perspective for expanding our capacity to realize genuine well-being. It also forges a link between the material world and the realm of the subconscious that transcends the traditional science-based understanding of the self.
Neurophysiology in Neurosurgery is a valuable educational tool that describes the theoretical and practical aspects of intraoperative monitoring through example. The authors provide in-depth descriptions of the most advanced techniques in intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring and guidelines for the management of neuroanesthesia during MEP monitoring.
With a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurring every 18.5 seconds in this country - concussions the most common - chances are you have been touched in some way by this experience. TBIs occur due to accidents and sports, and are also common in returning soldiers. The personal stories in this book, by TBI survivors and those who love and support them, will help and encourage you and your family on your road to recovery.
This volume presents neuroprotection and novel therapeutic strategies developed in the last 5 years by 12 world leaders in the field. The term neuroprotection means rescuing neuronal and non-neuronal cells together. The cerebral endothelium that constitutes the anatomical and physiological site of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is one of the most important non-neural cells in the CNS. Any distortion of the BBB leads to brain diseases and restoration of the barrier results in neuroprotection. Thus, the BBB appears to be the "gateway" for neurological diseases and neurorepair. However, to treat brain tumors or infarcts, new therapeutic strategies are needed to enhance brain drug delivery using nanotechnology. In addition, apart from conventional drugs, restoration of BBB function could also be achieved by means of antibodies directed against specific proteins, neurotransmitters or exogenous supplement of neurotrophic factors. Since co-morbidity factors e.g., hypertension, diabetes, and exposure of nanoparticles could complicate the pathogenesis of neurological disorders either an enhanced dose of the drug or nanodelivery of a combination of several drugs is needed to achieve neuroprotection.
This volume of International Review of Neurobiology is the first to discuss novel therapeutic strategies in situations of neurological disorders in combination with different co-morbidity factors.Reviews written by experts in such a way that provides basic knowledge for beginners and advanced information for researchers and expertsNew aspects of Neurodegenerative diseases such as; Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis are presented with the latest therapeutic measuresExacerbation of brain pathology in hypertension or diabetes is discussed for the first time
New to This Edition
*Incorporates significant scientific advances and many new topics.
*Greatly expanded coverage of clinical issues and applications.
*Chapters on neural systems, delay of gratification, decision making, and health.
*Chapters on adolescence, social baseline theory, and desire regulation, plus more.
*Supplemental e-book featuring selected chapters from the prior edition.
In the second part of the book, McGilchrist takes the reader on a journey through the history of Western culture, illustrating the tension between these two worlds as revealed in the thought and belief of thinkers and artists, from Aeschylus to Magritte. He argues that, despite its inferior grasp of reality, the left hemisphere is increasingly taking precedence in the modern world, with potentially disastrous consequences. This is truly a tour de force that should excite interest in a wide readership.
Various approaches such as sophisticated imaging techniques, improved surgical procedures, ground-breaking strategies for radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, chemoimmunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy are being used for eradicating glioblastoma. Hopefully, this book will be an important source of information on glioblastoma and therefore be highly useful to the students, postdoctoral fellows, principal investigators, and clinicians involved in this field.
Human Motor Control, 2e cuts across all movement related disciplines: physical education, dance, physical therapy, robotics, etc. This second edition incorporates advances to the field, and integrates throughout the book how research harkens back to four critical questions: how do we select our actions of the many actions possible? How are these behaviors sequenced for appropriate order and timing between them? How does perception integrate with motor control? And how are perceptual–motor skills acquired?
As before, the book retains its signature organization around activity systems. These activity systems include walking, looking, reaching, drawing and writing, keyboarding, speaking and singing, and smiling. Chapters here exemplify rather than encompass all the behaviors related to them. Hence smiling discusses physical and neural control of the face used in other expressions besides smiling, as well as the origins of emotional expression, and the importance of emotion expression in social interaction. These chapters on activity systems are preceded by chapters on basics, with an introduction and information on the physiological and psychological foundations of movement. The last section discusses integration of movements, individual differences, theories of motor control, and the contributions of both genetics and technology to motor control.
Special features of the second edition:
Organization by major activity systems
New: brain imaging, social action, embodied cognition, advances in genetics and technology
Detailed treatment of motor neuroscience
Further Readings section added to each chapter
* Retains unique organization of first edition: Part 1 on Preliminaries, Part 2 on Activity Systems, Part 3 on Principles and Prospects
* Emphasizes exciting advances in the field and promising new directions
* Well-illustrated with entertaining figures
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In The Migraine Miracle, a neurologist with a personal history of migraines offers readers the revolutionary dietary cure that has worked for him and continues to work for his patients: a diet low in wheat, sugar, and processed foods, and high in organic, protein-rich animal products. The book also explores the link between inflammation, diet, and migraines, and contains a 21-day meal plan to help readers change the way they eat. By following this easy meal plan, millions of sufferers will discover a life free from symptoms—once and for all.
The book includes comprehensive, research-based information that explains what the brain goes through during a migraine headache, the phases of the migraine, and how a diagnosis is made. It also explores the risks and benefits of migraine medication, natural remedies for migraines, dietary migraine triggers, and detailed, specific instructions for a migraine-free eating plan.
If you have tried migraine medicine but have not found real relief, it’s time to try something new. By changing the way you eat, and understanding what foods can trigger your migraine, you can start feeling better longer, without the threat of a migraine always looming over everything you do.
The goal of neurological critical care is to rapidly deliver acute medical therapies and appropriate interventions through effective monitoring of both neurological and end organ function. The NeuroICU Book puts that goal within the reach of every neurologist and critical care specialist.
Combining the latest clinical perspectives in critical care medicine, neurology, and neurosurgery, this comprehensive, evidence-based text standardizes neurocritical care and takes you through the rationale for those standards. Filled with detailed case studies and featuring a question-and-answer format, the book not only builds competency in recognizing acute changes in neurological function, but also addresses all organ insufficiencies and failures, reflecting the real-life challenges in the modern neuro-ICU.
FEATURESRobust, wide-ranging scope goes beyond classic neurology to encompass other organ failures at the time of presentation or during the ICU stay Evidence-based approach leverages the scientific and controlled research that supports the key treatment methods outlined in the book Balanced coverage of neuro care and critical care offers outstanding preparation for the neurocritical care board certification exam as well as an indispensible primer for daily clinical work in critical care medicine Cutting-edge insights into the care used in some of the more advanced neuroICUs provides a crucial blueprint for understanding the newer procedures and protocols Practical tools including algorithms, tables, illustration, photographs, detailed references, and critical take-home points