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In a book sure to stir argument for years to come, Robert Wright challen+ges the conventional view that biological evolution and human history are aimless. Ingeniously employing game theory – the logic of ‘zero-sum’ and ‘non-zero-sum’ games – Wright isolates the impetus behind life’s basic direction: the impetus that, via biological evolution, created complex, intelligent animals, and then via cultural evolution, pushed the human species towards deeper and vaster social complexity. In this view, the coming of today’s independent global society was ‘in the cards’ – not quite inevitable, but, as Wright puts it, ‘so probable as to inspire wonder’. In a narrative of breathtaking scope and erudition, yet pungent wit, Wright takes on some of the past century’s most prominent thinkers, including Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins. Wright argues that a coolly specific appraisal of humanity’s three-billion-year past can give new spiritual meaning to the present and even offer political guidance for the future. This book will change the way people think about the human prospect.
The increased and widespread availability of large network data resources in recent years has resulted in a growing need for effective methods for their analysis. The challenge is to detect patterns that provide a better understanding of the data. However, this is not a straightforward task because of the size of the data sets and the computer power required for the analysis. The solution is to devise methods for approximately answering the questions posed, and these methods will vary depending on the data sets under scrutiny. This cutting-edge text introduces biological concepts and biotechnologies producing the data, graph and network theory, cluster analysis and machine learning, before discussing the thought processes and creativity involved in the analysis of large-scale biological and medical data sets, using a wide range of real-life examples. Bringing together leading experts, this text provides an ideal introduction to and insight into the interdisciplinary field of network data analysis in biomedicine.
** Published in the U.S. as The Self-Driven Child** A hands-off parenting guide to nurture independent thinking and collaboration for happier, smarter and stress-free kids. 'Sometimes the most helpful thing we can do as parents is to parent our children a little less. This humane, thoughtful book turns the latest brain science into valuable practical advice for parents on how to pull back, when to engage and when to let go. Read it. Your children will thank you.' Paul Tough, New York Times bestselling author of How Children Succeed As parents we all want the best for our child, but so often we give in to societal pressures which can result in us over-managing every aspect of their lives leaving them overwhelmed, over-scheduled and lacking motivation. This can terrifyingly lead to mental health problems as adolescents and adults. How can we prevent this happening to our child? Over their combined sixty years of practice, William Stixrud, a clinical neuropsychologist, and Ned Johnson, the founder of an elite tutoring agency, have worked with thousands of children all facing this problem. Together they discovered that the best antidote to stress is to give kids more of a sense of control over their lives. In this ground-breaking book they reveal how you can actively help your child to sculpt a brain that is resilient, stress-proof and ready to take on new challenges. The Thriving Child offers a combination of cutting-edge brain science, the latest discoveries in behavioural therapy, and case studies drawn from the thousands of kids and teens Bill and Ned have helped over the years. They will teach you how to set your child on the real road to success and share their successful techniques to show you the best ways of helping your child to: * Reduce their stress and anxiety * Foster independent thinking * Find their internal motivation * Achieve their full potential * Transform defiance into decision making * Tame rebellious tendencies The Thriving Child is essential reading for every parent and demonstrates precisely how nurturing independent thinking, and collaborating with your child rather than micro-managing them, will lead to happier, smarter and stress-free kids. 'This serious and probing look at how to give our children the right kinds of independence shows us how much power we have to ensure they can function optimally. It is a book about how to make our children more meaningfully independent, and to set ourselves free in the process.' Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree 'Compelling, revolutionary, and wise, The Thriving Child empowers parents with the courage, the tools, and the mindset to reduce toxic stress, and to foster our child's capacity for resilience, success, and optimal development. Its message-that we should trust kids to have more control over their own lives-is one every parent needs to hear.' Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, co-author of The Whole Brain Child and The Yes Brain
One of the world's science superstars presents a brilliantly illuminating, entertaining and cutting-edge account of how language actually works. How does language work? How do children learn their mother tongue? Why do languages change over time, making Chaucer's English almost incomprehensible? Steven Pinker explains the profound mysteries of language by picking a deceptively simple single phenomenon and examining it from every angle. That phenomenon - the existence of regular and irregular verbs - connects an astonishing array of topics in the sciences and humanities: the history of languages; the illuminating errors of children as they begin to speak; the sources of the major themes in the history of Western philosophy; the latest techniques in identifying genes and imaging the living brain. Pinker makes sense of all of this with the help of a single, powerful idea: that language comprises a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of creative rules.
The polyvagal theory explains the biological origins of a variety of social behaviors and emotional disorders. This book distills that theory into practical clinical tips, explaining its relevance to the social engagement system and offering clinical examples, including cases of trauma and autism.
Why our human brains are awesome, and how we left our cousins, the great apes, behind: a tale of neurons and calories, and cooking.Humans are awesome. Our brains are gigantic, seven times larger than they should be for the size of our bodies. The human brain uses 25% of all the energy the body requires each day. And it became enormous in a very short amount of time in evolution, allowing us to leave our cousins, the great apes, behind. So the human brain is special, right? Wrong, according to Suzana Herculano-Houzel. Humans have developed cognitive abilities that outstrip those of all other animals, but not because we are evolutionary outliers. The human brain was not singled out to become amazing in its own exclusive way, and it never stopped being a primate brain. If we are not an exception to the rules of evolution, then what is the source of the human advantage?Herculano-Houzel shows that it is not the size of our brain that matters but the fact that we have more neurons in the cerebral cortex than any other animal, thanks to our ancestors' invention, some 1.5 million years ago, of a more efficient way to obtain calories: cooking. Because we are primates, ingesting more calories in less time made possible the rapid acquisition of a huge number of neurons in the still fairly small cerebral cortex-the part of the brain responsible for finding patterns, reasoning, developing technology, and passing it on through culture.Herculano-Houzel shows us how she came to these conclusions-making "brain soup" to determine the number of neurons in the brain, for example, and bringing animal brains in a suitcase through customs. The Human Advantage is an engaging and original look at how we became remarkable without ever being special.
Connections define the functions of neurons: information flows along connections, as well as growth factors and viruses, and even neuronal death may progress through connections. Knowledge of how the various parts of the brain are interconnected to form functional systems is a prerequisite for the proper understanding of data from all fields in the neurosciences.
"Clinical Neuroanatomy: Brain Circuitry and Its Disorders" bridges the gap between neuroanatomy and clinical neurology. It emphasizes human and primate data in the context of disorders of brain circuitry which are so common in neurological practice. In addition, numerous clinical cases demonstrate how normal brain circuitry may be interrupted and to what effect. Following an introduction into the organization and vascularisation of the human brain and the techniques to study brain circuitry, the main neurofunctional systems are discussed, including the somatosensory, auditory, visual, motor, autonomic and limbic systems, the cerebral cortex and complex cerebral functions.
Mark Ridley's "Evolution" has become the premier undergraduate text
in the study of evolution. Readable and stimulating, yet
well-balanced and in-depth, this text tells the story of evolution,
from the history of the study to the most revent developments in
The third edition of this successful textbook features updates
and extensive new coverage. The sections on adaptation and
diversity have been reorganized for improved clarity and flow, and
a completely updated section on the evolution of sex and the
inclusion of more plant examples have all helped to shape this new
edition. "Evolution" also features strong, balanced coverage of
population genetics, and scores of new applied plant and animal
examples make this edition even more accessible and engaging.
In this work, Robert Wright examines a science that has emerged from the work of evolutionary biologists and social scientists. Taking the life and work of the evolutionist Charles Darwin as his context, Wright seeks to demonstrate how Darwin's ideas have stood the test of time and retells - from the perspective of evolutionary psychology - the stories of Darwin's marriage, family, life and career. From this paradigm, Wright draws conclusions about the structure of our most basic preoccupations - sex, ambition, politics, justice - aiming to throw light on the background of these fundamental instincts, and to show why they are so important to us. The work poses questions about not only the biological bases for morality, but also the biological bases for amorality.
A good research paper is more than just a clear, concise, scientific expose. It is a document that needs to go beyond the science to attract attention. There are both strict and less definable norms for doing this, but many authors are unaware as to what they are or their use. Publishing is rapidly changing, and needs to be explained with a fresh perspective. Simply writing good, clear, concise, science is no longer enough-there is a different mind-set now required that students need to adopt if they are to succeed. The purpose of this book is to provide the foundations of this new approach for both young scientists at the start of their careers, as well as for more experienced scientists to teach the younger generation. Most importantly, the book will make the reader think in a fresh, creative, and novel way about writing and publishing science. This is an introductory guide suitable for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professional researchers in both the life and physical sciences.
Sometimes explosive, often delightful, occasionally poisonous, but always fascinating: the secret lives of liquids, from one of our best-known scientists A series of glasses of transparent liquids is in front of you: but which will quench your thirst and which will kill you? And why? Why does one liquid make us drunk, and another power a jumbo jet? From the bestselling author of Stuff Matters comes a fascinating tour of the world of these surprising or sinister substances - the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves we all encounter every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with water, wine, oil and more, Miodownik shows that liquids are agents of death and destruction as well as substances of wonder and fascination, and - just as in Stuff Matters - his unique brand of scientific storytelling brings them and their mysterious properties alive in a captivating new way.
Michio Kaku, the international bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible, gives us a stunning and provocative vision of the future of the mind Recording memories, mind reading, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis - no longer are these feats of the mind solely the province of overheated science fiction. As Michio Kaku reveals, with the latest advances in brain science and recent astonishing breakthroughs in technology, they already exist. In The Future of the Mind, the New York Times-bestselling author takes us on a stunning, provocative and exhilarating tour of the top laboratories around the world to meet the scientists who are already revolutionising the way we think about the brain - and ourselves. 'Summons up the sheer wonder of science' - Daily Telegraph 'Compelling ... Kaku thinks with great breadth, and the vistas he presents us are worth the trip' - New York Times Book Review Michio Kaku is a professor of physics at the City University of New York, cofounder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Hyperspace, Beyond Einstein, Physics of the Impossible, and Physics of the Future.
Learn how to make real, lasting changes in your life We all have bad habits - whether it's a weakness for junk food, a smartphone addiction or a lack of exercise. But change is hard. Forty percent of dieters quit within a week. Eighty percent of New Year's resolutions don't last beyond January. How can we kick bad habits - and stick with it? According to psychologist and behaviour researcher Dr Sean Young, the answer is to stop trying to change the person, and instead change the process. In Stick With It, Dr Young draws on his own research and that of other leading experts to explain how the mind often interferes with breaking bad habits, and how we can outsmart it, increasing the likelihood of lasting change by 200%. Packed with practical exercises and real-life case studies, Stick With It shows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a diet, exercise regularly and overcome problem behaviours - forever. 'Scientifically grounded and personally implementable. It's a winner' - Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion 'A must-read for anyone who's been unable to keep a New Year's resolution or failed at making a lasting change in any other area of their life or work. - Jonah Berger, author of Contagious Dr Sean Young is one of the world's leading experts in the field of habit-forming. He is an acclaiedpsychologist and the founder and Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior. His research involves the study of cutting-edge ways of using social media and mobile technologies to change and predict human behaviour.
Evolution: The Whole Story contains everything you need to know about the development and survival of life on Earth. Each chapter of this accessible and lavishly illustrated book takes a major living group and presents thematic essays discussing the evolution of particular subgroups as they appeared on Earth with reference to detailed comparative anatomy, evolutionary legacies, and the breakthrough theories of eminent scientists. Accompanying the essays are amazing photographic features that investigate the characteristics of individual organisms in detail: in some, remarkable fossils, assembled skeletons, and lifelike reconstructions are presented and analyzed; while in others, living species are depicted and compared in detail to their direct ancestors, creatures that may have lived millions of years ago.
A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate When Temple Grandin was born in 1947, autism had only just been named. Today it is more prevalent than ever, with one in 88 children diagnosed on the spectrum. And our thinking about it has undergone a transformation in her lifetime: Autism studies have moved from the realm of psychology to neurology and genetics, and there is far more hope today than ever before thanks to groundbreaking new research into causes and treatments. Now Temple Grandin reports from the forefront of autism science, bringing her singular perspective to a thrilling journey into the heart of the autism revolution. Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show us which anomalies might explain common symptoms. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are exploring innovative theories of what causes autism and how we can diagnose and best treat it. Grandin also highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the transformative effects we can have by treating autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting, she argues that raising and educating kids on the spectrum isn't just a matter of focusing on their weaknesses; in the science that reveals their long-overlooked strengths she shows us new ways to foster their unique contributions. From the "aspies" in Silicon Valley to the five-year-old without language, Grandin understands the true meaning of the word spectrum. The Autistic Brain is essential reading from the most respected and beloved voices in the field.
With climate change and increasing globalisation of trade and travel, the risks presented by invasive pests and pathogens to natural environments, agriculture and economies have never been greater, and are only increasing with time. Governments world-wide are responding to these increased threats by strengthening quarantine and biosecurity. This book presents a comprehensive review of risk-based techniques that help policy makers and regulators protect national interests from invasive pests and pathogens before, at, and inside national borders. Selected from the research corpus of the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis at the University of Melbourne, this book provides solutions that reflect scientific rigour coupled with practical, hands-on applications. Focusing on surveillance, stochastic modelling, intelligence gathering, decision making and risk communication, the contents combine the strengths of risk analysts, mathematicians, economists, biologists and statisticians. The book presents tested scientific solutions to the greatest challenges faced by quarantine and biosecurity policy makers and regulators today.
The GnRH Neuron and its Control examines the developmental biology of GnRH neurons including their birth in the nasal placode of the early embryo, perinatal programming, and sexual differentiation, in addition to the hypothalamic mechanisms that control GnRH neurons in adulthood to generate pulsatile and surge modes of GnRH secretion throughout the major life stages including aging. The morphology, electrophysiology, signal transduction pathways, transcriptional regulators, and genomics underlying function of the adult GnRH neuron is discussed in detail, as is the neuroendocrinology and cell biology governing the generation of both modes of GnRH release. The book also reviews the neurobiological mechanisms and circuitry responsible for the modulation of the activity of GnRH neurons by season, stress, nutrition, and metabolism, and covers the current and potential therapeutic approaches to regulating GnRH secretion and action. Filled with newly identified research and classical fundamental knowledge to GnRH biology, it will provide students, researchers, and practitioners with an in-depth understanding of reproductive neuroendocrinology. This is the fifth volume in the Masterclass in Neuroendocrinology Series, a co- publication between Wiley and the INF (International Neuroendocrine Federation) that aims to illustrate highest standards and encourage the use of the latest technologies in basic and clinical research and hopes to provide inspiration for further exploration into the exciting field of neuroendocrinology.
Neuroscience, 6th Edition is intended primarily for medical, premedical, and undergraduate students. The book's length and accessibility of its writing are a successful combination that has proven to work equally well for medical students and in undergraduate neuroscience courses. Being both comprehensive and authoritative, the book is also appropriate for graduate and professional use.
'Pain is bad, right? In this fascinating book, Brock Bastian will convince you otherwise. Drawing on both vivid everyday examples and surprising laboratory findings, he shows how pain, suffering, and struggle give us pleasure, make us kinder, focus our thoughts, and give our life meaning' Paul Bloom, author of Against Empathy In today's culture, happiness has become the new marker of success, while hardships are viewed as personal weaknesses, or problems to be fixed. We increasingly try to eradicate pain through medication and by insulating ourselves from risk and offence, despite being the safest generation to have ever lived. Yet in his research, renowned social psychologist Brock Bastian has found that suffering and sadness are neither antithetical to happiness nor incidental to it: they are a necessary ingredient for emotional well-being. Drawing on psychology, neuroscience and internationally acclaimed findings from Bastian's own lab, The Other Side of Happiness encourages us to take a more fearless approach to living. The most thrilling moments of our lives are often balanced on a knife edge between pleasure and pain, whether it is finding your true love, holding your new-born for the first time, finishing a marathon or even plunging into an icy sea. This is because pain and the threat of loss quite literally increase our capacity for happiness, as Bastian reveals, making us stronger, more resilient, more connected to other people and more attuned to what truly matters. Pain even makes us more mindful, since in our darkest moments we are especially focused and aware of the world around us. Our addiction to positivity and the pursuit of pleasure is actually making us miserable. Brock Bastian shows that, without some pain, we have no real way to achieve and appreciate the kind of happiness that is true and transcendent. 'Brock Bastian skilfully shatters the zeitgeist of positive thinking, showing how struggle and suffering are vital elements of a life well lived' Adam Grant, author of ORIGINALS and OBTION B with Sheryl Sandberg 'If you're tired of all the simple minded books telling you to just cheer up and be happy, this is the book for you!' Roy F. Baumeister, author of WILLPOWER: REDISCOVERING THEGREATEST HUMAN STRENGTH 'Explains why hardship sometimes yields richer lives that are laden with meaning, deep social connections, and unexpected bliss. A beautifully written and important book that should be required reading for anyone who's ever wondered why well-being so oftenflourishes in unexpected places' Adam Alter, author of DRUNK TANK PINK
Acclaimed author Matt Ridley traces the colourful life of the man who discovered the structure of DNA, the building blocks of life. Building on a biographical tradition that can be traced back to Aubrey's `Brief Lives', Dr Johnson's `Lives of the Poets' and Lytton Strachey's `Eminent Victorians', this exciting and ground-breaking new series pairs great biographers, historians and novelists with iconic subjects, the writing bristling with original and distinctive points of view. On 28 February 1953, Francis Crick walked into the Eagle pub in Cambridge and announced that he and his American colleague James Watson `had found the secret of life'. In fact, they had indeed done so. That morning, Crick and Watson had worked out the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). They had discovered its 'double helix' form, one which could replicate itself, confirming theories that it carried life's hereditary information. Matt Ridley's life of Crick begins with his birth in 1916 at the home of a shoe factory owner, his early explosive experiments at primary school and time developing torpedoes in the Navy. After his seismic DNA discovery, which won him the Nobel Prize before he'd even gained a PhD, the scientist's later work was rarely uncontroversial. From California, he proposed that life began when micro-organisms from another planet were dropped here by a spaceship sent to Earth, and maintained that the 'human soul' was entirely explicable in terms of brain activity. Matt Ridley's entertaining account traces the colourful and entirely original work behind one of mankind's greatest discoveries and displays the life of a scientist considered of the very first rank.
What every neuroscientist should know about the mathematical modeling of excitable cells. Combining empirical physiology and nonlinear dynamics, this text provides an introduction to the simulation and modeling of dynamic phenomena in cell biology and neuroscience. It introduces mathematical modeling techniques alongside cellular electrophysiology. Topics include membrane transport and diffusion, the biophysics of excitable membranes, the gating of voltage and ligand-gated ion channels, intracellular calcium signalling, and electrical bursting in neurons and other excitable cell types. It introduces mathematical modeling techniques such as ordinary differential equations, phase plane, and bifurcation analysis of single-compartment neuron models. With analytical and computational problem sets, this book is suitable for life sciences majors, in biology to neuroscience, with one year of calculus, as well as graduate students looking for a primer on membrane excitability and calcium signalling.
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