The Female Brain

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Since Dr. Brizendine wrote The Female Brain ten years ago, the response has been overwhelming. This New York Times bestseller has been translated into more than thirty languages, has sold nearly a million copies between editions, and has most recently inspired a romantic comedy starring Whitney Cummings and Sofia Vergara. And its profound scientific understanding of the nature and experience of the female brain continues to guide women as they pass through life stages, to help men better understand the girls and women in their lives, and to illuminate the delicate emotional machinery of a love relationship.

Why are women more verbal than men? Why do women remember details of fights that men can’t remember at all? Why do women tend to form deeper bonds with their female friends than men do with their male counterparts? These and other questions have stumped both sexes throughout the ages.

Now, pioneering neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and who they love. While doing research as a medical student at Yale and then as a resident and faculty member at Harvard, Louann Brizendine discovered that almost all of the clinical data in existence on neurology, psychology, and neurobiology focused exclusively on males. In response to the overwhelming need for information on the female mind, Brizendine established the first clinic in the country to study and treat women’s brain function.

In The Female Brain, Dr. Brizendine distills all her findings and the latest information from the scientific community in a highly accessible book that educates women about their unique brain/body/behavior.

The result: women will come away from this book knowing that they have a lean, mean, communicating machine. Men will develop a serious case of brain envy.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harmony
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Published on
Aug 7, 2007
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780767928410
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Language
English
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Genres
Health & Fitness / Women's Health
Science / Life Sciences / Neuroscience
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Is there a right way to study how the brain works? Following the empiricist's tradition, the most common approach involves the study of neural reactions to stimuli presented by an experimenter. This 'outside-in' method fueled a generation of brain research and now must confront hidden assumptions about causation and concepts that may not hold neatly for systems that act and react. György Buzsáki's The Brain from Inside Out examines why the outside-in framework for understanding brain function has become stagnant and points to new directions for understanding neural function. Building upon the success of 2011's Rhythms of the Brain, Professor Buzsáki presents the brain as a foretelling device that interacts with its environment through action and the examination of action's consequence. Consider that our brains are initially filled with nonsense patterns, all of which are gibberish until grounded by action-based interactions. By matching these nonsense "words" to the outcomes of action, they acquire meaning. Once its circuits are "calibrated" by action and experience, the brain can disengage from its sensors and actuators, and examine "what happens if" scenarios by peeking into its own computation, a process that we refer to as cognition. The Brain from Inside Out explains why our brain is not an information-absorbing coding device, as it is often portrayed, but a venture-seeking explorer constantly controlling the body to test hypotheses. Our brain does not process information: it creates it.
“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times It’s the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children—boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks—we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important “hardwired” differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender.

Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’s brains are intrinsically different—a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.
Do biological factors, such as gonadal hormones, determine our sexual destiny after our genes are in place? Do they make men aggressive, or women nurturing? Do they cause boys and girls to play differently or to have different interests? Do they explain differences in sexual orientation within each sex group? Do they contribute to the preponderance of men in science or women at home? Scientists working from a psychosocial perspective would answer these questions differently than those working from a behavioral neuroscience or neuroendocrinological perspective. This book brings both of these perspectives to bear on the questions, tracing the factors that influence the brain, beginning with testosterone and other hormones during prenatal life, and continuing through changing life situations and experiences that can sculpt the brain and its activity, even in adulthood. This influence has important implications for understanding the social roles of men and women in society, the different educational and emotional issues that confront males and females, the legal rights of those whose sexual orientation or gender identity do not correspond to norms, and even standards of clinical care for people born with physical intersex conditions that make it difficult to classify a person as male or female at birth. This original and accessible book will be of interest to psychologists, neuroscientists, pediatricians, and educators, as well as the general public. It is also suitable for use in graduate and undergraduate courses on the psychology of gender or on hormones and behavior.
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