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Learning about the brain
    #1962565 - 09/29/03 11:44 AM (20 years, 5 months ago)

I am fascinated by the brain. I want to learn every thing there is to know about it. For a profession when Im older, Im considering something to do with the brain. Neuroscience is new, relatively and there is alot to discover in that field. Im not sure what to major in, psych or science, but im taking classes for both right now.

Any one have any links or books I may find interesting? Im reading Mapping the Mind and Exploring Consciousness right now, both by Rita Carter. Anything would be of help though, thanks  :laugh:

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umask 077(nonefor you)

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Re: Learning about the brain [Re: moosehead]
    #1964034 - 09/29/03 08:21 PM (20 years, 5 months ago)

Remember that your using a brain to understand the brain...so there might be some difficulties.

I went on a little year long thing where I read nothing but books about the brain and the mind,and I'm even more confused than when I started off. Neurology is a jumbled mass of unrelated facts in it's current form.While it's great for diagnosing cancer and stuff,to get a cohesive grasp of the whole deal is pretty impossible and will be like that for a llllooonnnggg time,IMHO.

It is fascinating stuff though,so I'll give you some recommendations to start out with:

The Complete Idiot's Guide To The Brain and/or neurology sections of basic anatomy/medical texts

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks (a true classic)

A Primer Of Drug Action by Rober Julien (this is a pharm book,but it will teach the chemical mechanisms of neurotransmitters and how they effect the brain.)

Phantoms In The Brain by V. S. Ramachandran (similar style as Sack's book-will blow your mind)

How The Mind Works by Steven Pinker (will even out some of the biological reductionism you learned elsewhere)

Oh...I recommend that you don't read a lot crappy,older books from the 70's and 80's that your library may have. This stuff is in a constant state of flux,I had to unlearn a lot of garbage from older books to understand the newer stuff.

People think that if you just say the word "hallucinations" it explains everything you want it to explain and eventually whatever it is you can't explain will just go away.It's just a word,it doesn't explain anything...
Douglas Adams

Edited by monoamine (09/29/03 09:49 PM)

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Anti Genius

Registered: 08/05/02
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Re: Learning about the brain [Re: moosehead]
    #1965282 - 09/30/03 06:58 AM (20 years, 5 months ago)

I crazy about the stuff too bla bla bla...

okay links first:
BRAIN THEORY : this may or may not be a tad thick, but bookmark it either way. I would'nt say it's comprehensive but it's good.
BRAIN ILLUSTRATIONS: If you're reading and liking "mapping the mind",(and i bet you are) then you'll like this site.
Structure-function : just a good site telling ya where the brain parts are and whatnot.
BIOPSYCHIATRY: This guy at hed.web starts typing and doesnt stop...even if you beg him too. But interesting reading nonetheless.
Dissections of the Human Brain:thick. dont you just want to hold one?
BRAINthis one is not that special except that it has convenient pictures of major neurotransmitter pathways. If you find a site with better descriptions, tell me.
  Conscious Dreaming and Controlled Hallucinations:Not quite as scientific as the others but i read all of it. It's interesting.  :thumbup: 

Now for books that i like on neuro and psych :nut:
you got mapping the mind, i've got it; liked it...i'll second "How the Mind Works" by steven pinker. got it; liked it.
"Change your Life Change your Brain" by Dr. Daniel G. Amen: dont let the name fool you. it's not a quirky self help book. it's about this doctor's findings through SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) which measures metabolic activity patterns in the brain. It really shows how habits and drugs effect brain biology. which, speaking of drugs, the daily marijuana users should buy this one - not too pretty. This is not some reefer madness deal all over again. Habitual coffee drinkers and smokers should get this book too and see what they are doing to their brain.     

"The Owner's Manual for The Brain" By pierce j. howard Ph.d. This book is a tomb. but dont worry you dont have to read it cover to cover. even though you may insist on doing so, because it is SO damn informative and usefull. You'll probably find yourself going back to it over and over.

"Godel, Escher, Bach." by douglas R hofstadter. Now im not a math guy by anymeans, but this book is great(i havent read all of it though). IT IS also a tomb, but buy it any way. it is essential. it's hard to say what is ABOUT exactly but im safe by just saying that it is about how inanimate matter Becomes animate matter. For elaboration, just get the book.

I have couple psychology books but im done typing. 22 hr day. im sleeping


The Enneagram

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Re: Learning about the brain [Re: monoamine]
    #1966286 - 09/30/03 02:03 PM (20 years, 5 months ago)

:laugh: gracious for the suggestions, theres so much out there its hard to know whats good and what isnt. My mom has been trying to get me to read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat but I have so many books already, ill get around to it some day.

Have either of you been to Powells book store? I know there is one in Portland but it may be in other cities too. It has an awsome cognitive science section with prolly around 300 - 500 books on the brain. Its worth checking out, also, you guys should get Exploring Consciouness, its relativly new and so far Im liking it better than Mapping the Mind. Not that it isnt good also :laugh:

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Error: divide byzero

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Re: Learning about the brain [Re: moosehead]
    #1966380 - 09/30/03 02:33 PM (20 years, 5 months ago)

PDP vol 2 (around '84 to '86, MIT Press) is a good read, though a bit dated now, dealing with cognition in distributed applications.  (PDP = parallel distributed processes)  If you are interested in computer cognition, this is a good starting point... or at least it was in its day.  :smile:

Just another spore in the wind.

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