David T. Courtwright is John A. Delaney Presidential Professor at the University of North Florida.
Noting that apes and dolphins have had no common ancestor in nearly 100 million years, Bearzi and Stanford describe the parallel evolution that gave rise to their intelligence. And they closely observe that intelligence in action, in the territorial grassland and rainforest communities of chimpanzees and other apes, and in groups of dolphins moving freely through open coastal waters. The authors detail their subjectsâe(tm) ability to develop family bonds, form alliances, and care for their young. They offer an understanding of their culture, politics, social structure, personality, and capacity for emotion. The resulting dual portraitâe"with striking overlaps in behaviorâe"is key to understanding the nature of âeoebeautiful minds.âe
Drawing on the latest astonishing discoveries in the fossil record as well as his own experiences conducting field expeditions across Europe and Asia, Begun provides a sweeping evolutionary history of great apes and humans. He tells the story of how one of the earliest members of our evolutionary group—a new kind of primate called Proconsul—evolved from lemur-like monkeys in the primeval forests of Africa. Begun vividly describes how, over the next 10 million years, these hominoids expanded into Europe and Asia and evolved climbing and hanging adaptations, longer maturation times, and larger brains, setting the stage for the emergence of humans. As the climate deteriorated in Europe around 10 million years ago, these apes either died out or migrated south, reinvading the African continent and giving rise to the lineages of the gorilla, chimpanzee, and, ultimately, the human.
Presenting startling new insights about our fossil ape ancestors, The Real Planet of the Apes is a book that fundamentally alters our understanding of human origins.
"Dark Paradise" tells the story not only from the standpoint of legal and medical sources, but also from the perspective of addicts themselves. With the addition of a new introduction and two new chapters on heroin addiction and treatment since 1940, Courtwright has updated this compelling work of social history for the present crisis of the Drug War.
The book begins with current animal models of addiction, which mimic the state of humans entering treatment: recently-abstinent animals that receive common triggers for relapse (classical conditioning, stress, and neuroadaptive dysregulation). Coverage then shifts to the use of electrophysiologic approaches, which enable researchers to characterize the discharge patterns of single neurons during drug self-administration. After exploring advances in voltammetry and enzyme-linked biosensors for measuring glutamate, the book discusses the theoretical background and results of neuroimaging studies related to neuronal networks that are activated by drug-specific cues. It then describes modern genetic approaches to manipulate target proteins that influence addictive behavior.
The book rounds out its coverage by illustrating how a neuroeconomic approach can inform studies of reward processing in general and addiction in particular. It is a comprehensive introduction to the methodologies of the field for students and beginning researchers and an essential reference source for established investigators.
A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.