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.
Readers can enjoy video clips illustrating unique behaviors of Bossou chimpanzees, in an exclusive DVD accompanying the hardcover or at a dedicated website described in the softcover.
This book is based on extensive interviews with adolescents diagnosed with AS. It includes six life stories, written in collaboration with the teenagers themselves. These present an authentic and fascinating look at the lives of the teenagers and how AS has shaped their growing identities. The stories provide the basis for a discussion of common themes and issues facing teenagers with AS. Asperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and Identity also questions the medicalized deficit approach to Asperger Syndrome and discusses the social repercussions of labeling teenagers as having AS.