Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences
Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences is a brief, informative yet informal guide to recent developments in the cognitive neurosciences by the scientists who are in the thick of things.
"Getting a fix on important questions and how to think about them from an experimental point of view is what scientists talk about, sometimes endlessly. It is those conversations that thrill and motivate," observes Michael Gazzaniga. Yet all too often these exciting interactions are lost to students, researchers, and others who are "doing" science. Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences brings together a series of interviews with prominent individuals in neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology that have appeared over the past few years in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
The ten interviews are divided into five sections: basic neuroscience approaches to cognition (Floyd Bloom and Mark Raichle), attentional and perceptual processes (Michael I. Posner and William T. Newsome), neural basis of memory (Randy Gallistel and Endel Tulving), language (Steven Pinker and Alfonso Caramazza), and imagery and consciousness (Stephen M. Kosslyn and Daniel C. Dennett).
Bradford Books imprint
All too frequently, the book does not measure up to the movie, the novel lacks the punch of the serialized chapters, and the entire anthology is a pale reflection of the most arresting short stories. Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences is a happy exception. Michael Gazzaniga has integrated a series of interviews with leading brain and mind scientists. The result is a thematically coherent whole that is rich in substance and style. Using focused but open-ended questions to engage thoughtful, articulate practitioners, Gazzaniga elicits a rich mix of historical perspective and cutting-edge science. Each of the interviews provides wonderfully personal and insightful accounts of cognitive neuroscience and the relationship of mind and brain.
Ira B. Black, MD, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
This book reports a series of conversations between Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, one of the most eminent scientists in the emerging field of cognitive neuroscience, and ten leading researchers who represent the broad spectrum of disciplines that are encompassed by this field. These conversations give a simulating and highly readable overview of the key ideas and the latest technical advances that are driving modern efforts to unravel the mysteries of mind and brain. Gazzaniga has a knack for getting each discussant to state clearly the central questions that motivate them and for keeping the focus on these 'big picture' issues. The resulting conversations give both a historical perspective and an insider's view of the field at its highest levels. The intellectual sparring will make fascinating reading for both beginners and experts alike.
Steven A. Hillyard, Professor of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego