Winner of the Scientific and Medical Network 1998 Book Prize
Aldous Huxley called humankind's basic trend toward spiritual growth the "perennial philosophy." According to James Austin, the trend implies a "perennial psychophysiology"—for awakening, or enlightenment, occurs only because the human brain undergoes substantial changes. What are the peak experiences of enlightenment? How could they profoundly enhance, and yet simplify, the workings of the brain? Zen and the Brain summarizes the latest evidence.
These interconnected essays on three-dimensional visual object recognition present cutting-edge research by some of the most creative neuroscientific, cognitive, and computational scientists in the field.
At the 1994 landmark conference "Toward a Scientific Basis for Consciousness," philosopher David Chalmers distinguished between the "easy" problems and the "hard" problem of consciousness research. According to Chalmers, the easy problems are to explain cognitive functions such as discrimination, integration, and the control of behavior; the hard problem is to explain why these functions should be associated with phenomenal experience. Why doesn't all this cognitive processing go on "in the dark," without any consciousness at all?
In Neural Organization, Arbib, Érdi, and Szentágothai integrate structural, functional, and dynamical approaches to the interaction of brain models and neurobiologcal experiments. Both structure-based "bottom-up" and function-based "top-down" models offer coherent concepts by which to evaluate the experimental data. The goal of this book is to point out the advantages of a multidisciplinary, multistrategied approach to the brain.
Researchers in the new discipline of cognitive neuroscience combine the concepts and methods of cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and neurophysiology in an attempt to understand the brains role in cognitive functions.
How can the baffling problems of phenomenal experience be accounted for? In this provocative book, Fred Dretske argues that to achieve an understanding of the mind it is not enough to understand the biological machinery by means of which the mind does its job. One must understand what the mind's job is and how this task can be performed by a physical system—the nervous system.