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Basic Books

Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language

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Title: Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and Language
Author: Calvin, William H
ISBN: 9780201483376
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: 1995
Binding: Quality
Language: English
Condition: Used: Very Good
Clean, unmarked copy with some edge wear. Good binding. Dust jacket included if issued with one. We ship in recyclable American-made mailers. 100% money-back guarantee on all orders.

Psychology 1213607

Publisher Description:
In a series of highly charged encounters before, after, and during neurosurgery, an epileptic patient, Neil; his surgeon, George Ojemann; and neuroscientist William Calvin explore the intricate landscape of the brain, and in so doing, reveal the mystery of human memory, thought, and language. With novelistic detail, Conversations with Neil's Brain tells the story of a man offered the promise of surgery that can end his seizures. But with the opportunity for such a dramatic cure comes risk. The surgeon must remove a portion of Neil's temporal lobe, and if the instrument is off, the mistake could alter or erase essential parts of Neil. To avoid causing such irreparable harm, George Ojemann must develop a detailed map of the individual patient's brain, a map that identifies each specific region responsible for each highly specific function - the kind of map that can be developed only by probing for responses from the patient while he is awake and able to communicate, but while his cerebral cortex is exposed. Conversations with Neil's Brain takes us inside the operating room and allows us to be part of this eerie process of discovery, using it to provide a unique window on human consciousness and the nature of human identity. As we begin to understand, one region of cortex determines Neil's ability to follow a joke to the punchline; another determines his ability to recognize a face. A slip in one direction might damage Neil's ability to read, but not his ability to write. A different slip could wipe out Neil's ability to speak Spanish (his second language) but not his native English. Another could leave him able to identify an animal as an elephant, but never able to remember that its namewas Babar. The mapping of Neil's brain brings to life as never before the astounding specificity by which the brain operates, making clear why reading, learning, memory, and decision making are so complex, and why such afflictions as learning disabilities, mental disorders, Alzh