Health, Mind & Body References

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  • The Predicament of the Individual in the Middle East

    Sert Kapak
    In a special collector’s edition, Scientific American provides a must-have compilation of updated feature articles that explore and reveal the mysterious inner workings of our minds and brains. Contents1. How the Brain Creates the Mind (Antonio R. Damasio)2. The Problem of Consciousness (Francis Crick and Christof Koch)3. Vision: A Window on Consciousness (Nikos K. Logothetis)4. The Split Brain Revisited (Michael S. Gazzaniga)5. Sex Differences in the Brain (Doreen Kimura)6.  New Nerve Cells for the Adult Brain (Gerd Kempermann and Fred H. Gage)7. Sign Language in the Brain (Gregory Hickok, Ursula Bellugi, Edward S. Klima)8. The Meaning of Dreams (Jonathan Winson)9. Emotion, Memory and the Brain (Joseph E. LeDoux)10. The Neurobiology of Fear (Ned H. Kalin)11. The Mind-Body Interaction in Disease (Esther M. Sternberg and Philip W. Gold)12. The Puzzle of Conscious Experience (David J. Chalmers)
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  • Knowing Body, Moving Mind: Ritualizing and Learning at Two Buddhist Centers (Oxford Ritual Studies)

    Knowing Body, Moving Mind: Ritualizing and Learning at Two Buddhist Centers (Oxford Ritual Studies)

    Sert Kapak
    Knowing Body, Moving Mind investigates ritualizing and learning in introductory meditation classes at two Buddhist centers in Toronto, Canada. The centers, Friends of the Heart and Chandrakirti, are led and attended by Western (sometimes called "convert') Buddhists: that is, people from non-Buddhist familial and cultural backgrounds. Inspired by theories that suggest that rituals impart new knowledge or understanding, Patricia Campbell examines how introductory meditation students learn through formal Buddhist practice. Along the way, she also explores practitioners' reasons for enrolling in meditation classes, their interests in Buddhism, and their responses to formal Buddhist practices and to ritual in general. Based on ethnographic interviews and participant-observation fieldwork, the text follows interview participants' reflections on what they learned in meditation classes and through personal practice, and what roles meditation and other ritual practices played in that learning. Participants' learning experiences are illuminated by an influential learning theory called Bloom's Taxonomy, while the rites and practices taught and performed at the centers are explored using performance theory, a method which focuses on the performative elements of ritual's postures and gestures. But the study expands the performance framework as well, by demonstrating that performative ritualizing includes the concentration techniques that take place in a meditator's mind. Such techniques are received as traditional mental acts or behaviors that are standardized, repetitively performed, and variously regarded as special, elevated, spiritual or religious. Having established a link between mental and physical forms of ritualizing, the study then demonstrates that the repetitive mental techniques of meditation practice train the mind to develop new skills in the same way that physical postures and gestures train the body. The mind is thus experienced as both embodied and gestural, and the whole of the body as socially and ritually informed.
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  • Blindspots: The Many Ways We Cannot See

    Blindspots: The Many Ways We Cannot See

    Sert Kapak
    Sight can be so effortless, so useful, and so entertaining--the average human can distinguish several million colors; a falcon can see a fencepost from three thousand yards--that we never stop to think about how complex a process it is and how easily it can fail us. We never have as clear and complete a picture of the world around us as we think we do. The gaps between what our eyes take in and what is in our mind's eye provide the unifying theme in Bruno Breitmeyer's wide-ranging volume. In his fascinating account of the many ways that our eyes, and minds, both see and fail to see, Breitmeyer moves from cataracts and color blindness through blindsight, acquired dyslexia, and visual agnosias, including fascinating cases like the woman who did not know what she was seeing was a dog until it barked. He then uses what we've learned about the limits of our sight to illustrate the limits of our ability to mentally visualize and our ability to reason, covering everything from logical fallacies to how our motives and emotions relentlessly color the way we see the world. This book will intrigue anyone interested in how easily we can fail to capture the world around us without even realizing it.
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  • Human Nature: Fact and Fiction: Literature, Science and Human Nature

    Human Nature: Fact and Fiction: Literature, Science and Human Nature

    Karton Kapak
    Human Nature: Fact and Fiction brings together a collection of inspiring, thought-provoking and original perspectives on human nature by ten leading writers, scientists and academics. What do we mean by "human nature"? Is there a genetically determined core of humanity that unites us all as members of a single species? Or is the thing we call human nature a social construct? And how do we explain the mystery of human creativity? Do great writers have an intuitive grasp of what makes human beings tick, or are they merely the mouthpiece of contemporary culture? It has been claimed that "the greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities" (Edward O. Wilson). This groundbreaking book marks the beginning of a new dialogue between the two. Rather than focusing on the division between them, it shows that the sciences and humanities have much to learn from each other. Points of disagreement remain. Yet there is in this volume a genuine attempt to bridge the gulf that has traditionally separated the sciences and humanities and to reach a better understanding of what it means to be human.
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