The Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative (MBB) is an interdisciplinary community of investigators whose research aims to elucidate the structure, function, evolution, development, and pathology of the nervous system in relation to human behavior and mental life.
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The scientific research literature on memory is enormous. Yet until now no single book has focused on the complex interrelationships of memory and belief. This book brings together eminent scholars from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature, and medicine to discuss such provocative issues as “false memories,” in which people can develop vivid recollections of events that never happened; retrospective biases, in which memories of past experiences are influenced by one’s current beliefs; and implicit memory, or the way in which nonconscious influences of past experience shape current beliefs.
Drug Addiction and Drug Policy: The Struggle to Control Dependence
This book is the culmination of five years of debate among distinguished scholars in law, public policy, medicine, and biopsychology, about the most difficult questions in drug policy and the study of addictions. Do drug addicts have an illness, or is the addiction under their control? Should they be treated as patients or as criminals? Challenging the conventional wisdom, the authors show that these standard dichotomies are false.
The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge
Changeux confronts an ancient philosophical problem: can we know the world as it really is? Drawing on new findings on the psychophysiology of perception and judgment in primates, and on the cultural history of science, he makes a case for scientific progress and argues that it forms the basis for a coherent and universal theory of human rights.
A stellar lineup of international cognitive scientists, philosophers, and artists make the book’s case that the brain is multilingual. Among topics discussed in the section on verbal languages are the learning of second languages, recovering language after brain damage, and sign language, and in the section on nonverbal languages, mental imagery, representations of motor activity, and the perception and representation of space.
Pain and Its Transformations: The Interface of Biology and Culture
Pain remains a deep mystery for sufferers, their physicians, and researchers. As neuroscientific research shows, even the immediate sensation of pain is shaped by psychological state and interpretation. At the same time, many individuals and cultures find meaning, particularly religious meaning, even in chronic and inexplicable pain. This interdisciplinary book includes not only essays but also discussions among a wide range of specialists.
Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness
Beginning with the seemingly simple act of seeing red, this brilliantly unsettling essay builds toward an explanation of why consciousness makes compelling evolutionary sense. From sensations that probably began in bodily expression to the evolutionary advantages of a conscious self, Seeing Red tracks the “hard problem” of consciousness to its source and its solution—a solution in which the very hardness of the problem may make all the difference.
The Placebo Effect: An Interdisciplinary Exploration
A mere “symbol” of medicine the placebo nonetheless sometimes produces “real” results. Medical science has largely managed its discomfort with this phenomenon by discounting the placebo effect. This book is committed to a different perspective—namely, that the placebo effect is a “real” entity in its own right, one that has much to teach us about how symbols, settings, and human relationships literally get under our skin.
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