Todd E. Feinberg

Todd E. Feinberg is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York and coauthor (with Jon M. Mallatt) of The Ancient Origins of Consciousness: How the Brain Created Experience (MIT Press).

  • Consciousness Demystified

    Consciousness Demystified

    Todd E. Feinberg and Jon M. Mallatt

    Demystifying consciousness: how subjective experience can be explained by natural brain and evolutionary processes.

    Consciousness is often considered a mystery. How can the seemingly immaterial experience of consciousness be explained by the material neurons of the brain? There seems to be an unbridgeable gap between understanding the brain as an objectively observed biological organ and accounting for the subjective experiences that come from the brain (and life processes). In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt attempt to demystify consciousness—to naturalize it, by explaining that the subjective, experiencing aspects of consciousness are created by natural brain processes that evolved in natural ways. Although subjective experience is unique in nature, they argue, it is not necessarily mysterious. We need not invoke the unknown or unknowable to explain its creation.

    Feinberg and Mallatt flesh out their theory of neurobiological naturalism (after John Searle's biological naturalism) that recognizes the many features that brains share with other living things, lists the neural features unique to conscious brains, and explains the subjective–objective barrier naturally. They investigate common neural features among the diverse groups of animals that have primary consciousness—the type of consciousness that experiences both sensations received from the world and affects such as emotions. They map the evolutionary development of consciousness and find an uninterrupted progression over time, without inserting any mysterious forces or exotic physics. Finally, bridging the previously unbridgeable, they show how subjective experience, although different from objective observation, can be naturally explained.

    • Hardcover $24.95 £20.00
  • The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

    The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

    How the Brain Created Experience

    Todd E. Feinberg and Jon M. Mallatt

    How consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed, and why all vertebrates and perhaps even some invertebrates are conscious.

    How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions—and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience?

    After assembling a list of the biological and neurobiological features that seem responsible for consciousness, and considering the fossil record of evolution, Feinberg and Mallatt argue that consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed. About 520 to 560 million years ago, they explain, the great “Cambrian explosion” of animal diversity produced the first complex brains, which were accompanied by the first appearance of consciousness; simple reflexive behaviors evolved into a unified inner world of subjective experiences. From this they deduce that all vertebrates are and have always been conscious—not just humans and other mammals, but also every fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird. Considering invertebrates, they find that arthropods (including insects and probably crustaceans) and cephalopods (including the octopus) meet many of the criteria for consciousness. The obvious and conventional wisdom–shattering implication is that consciousness evolved simultaneously but independently in the first vertebrates and possibly arthropods more than half a billion years ago. Combining evolutionary, neurobiological, and philosophical approaches allows Feinberg and Mallatt to offer an original solution to the “hard problem” of consciousness.

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience, Second Edition

    Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience, Second Edition

    Martha J. Farah and Todd E. Feinberg

    A review of current developments in cognitive neuroscience that integrates data from behavioral, imaging, and genetic studies of patients with research-oriented cognitive theories.

    The cognitive disorders that follow brain damage are an important source of insights into the neural bases of human thought. This second edition of the widely acclaimed Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience offers state-of-the-art reviews of the patient-based approach to central issues in cognitive neuroscience by leaders in the field.

    The second edition has been thoroughly updated, with new coverage of methods from imaging to transcranial magnetic stimulation to genetics and topics from plasticity to executive function to mathematical thought. Part I, on the history and methods of cognitive neuroscience and behavioral neurology, includes two new chapters on imaging, one covering the basics of fMRI in normal humans and the other on the functional imaging of brain-damaged patients, as well as updated chapters on electrophysiological methods and computer modeling. Part II, on perception and attention, includes new chapters on visual perception and spatial cognition as well as attention, visual, tactile, and auditory recognition, music perception, body concept, and delusions. Part III, on language, covers many aspects of language processing in adults and children, including reading. Part IV discusses memory and prefrontal function, including semantic memory and executive functions. Part V covers dementias and developmental disorders, among them Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, mental retardation, ADHD, and autism, and includes a chapter on the molecular genetics of cognitive disorders.

    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99
  • Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience

    Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience

    Martha J. Farah and Todd E. Feinberg

    The cognitive disorders that follow brain damage are an important source of insight into the neural bases of human thought. Although cognitive neuroscience is sometimes equated with cognitive neuroimaging, the patient-based approach to cognitive neuroscience is responsible for most of what we now know about the brain systems underlying perception, attention, memory, language, and higher-order forms of thought including consciousness. This volume brings together state-of-the-art reviews of the patient-based approach to these and other central issues in cognitive neuroscience, written by leading authorities.

    Part I covers the history, principles, and methods of patient-based neuroscience: lesion method, imaging, computational modeling, and anatomy. Part II covers perception and vision: sensory agnosias, disorders of body perception, attention and neglect, disorders of perception and awareness, and misidentification syndromes. Part III covers language: aphasia, language disorders in children, specific language impairments, developmental dyslexia, acquired reading disorders, and agraphia. Part IV covers memory: amnesia and semantic memory impairments. Part V covers higher cognitive functions: frontal lobes, callosal disconnection (split brain), skilled movement disorders, acalculia, dementia, delirium, and degenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.

    Contributors Michael P. Alexander, Russell M. Bauer, Kathleen Baynes, D. Frank Benson, H. Branch Coslett, Jeffrey L. Cummings, Tim Curran, Antonio R. Damasio, Hanna Damasio, Ennio De Renzi, Maureen Dennis, Mark D'Esposito, Martha J. Farah, Todd E. Feinberg, Michael S. Gazzaniga, Georg Goldenberg, Jordan Grafman, Kenneth M. Heilman, Diane M. Jacobs, Daniel I. Kaufer, Daniel Y. Kimberg, Maureen W. Lovett, Richard Mayeux, M.-Marsel Mesulam, Bruce L. Miller, Robert D. Nebes, Robert D. Rafal, Marcus E. Raichle, Timothy Rickard, David M. Roane, David J. Roeltgen, Leslie J. Gonzalez Rothi, Eleanor M. Saffran, Daniel L. Schacter, Karin Stromswold, Edward Valenstein, Robert T. Watson, Tricia Zawacki, Stuart Zola

    • Paperback $48.00