Description : Current primate research has yielded stunning results that not only threaten our underlying assumptions about the cognitive and communicative abilities of nonhuman primates, but also bring into question what it means to be human. At the forefront of this research, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh recently has achieved a scientific breakthrough of impressive proportions. Her work with Kanzi, a laboratory-reared bonobo, has led to Kanzi's acquisition of linguistic and cognitive skills similar to those of a two and a half year-old human child. Apes, Language, and the Human Mind skillfully combines a fascinating narrative of the Kanzi research with incisive critical analysis of the research's broader linguistic, psychological, and anthropological implications. The first part of the book provides a detailed, personal account of Kanzi's infancy, youth, and upbringing, while the second part addresses the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues raised by the Kanzi research. The authors discuss the challenge to the foundations of modern cognitive science presented by the Kanzi research; the methods by which we represent and evaluate the abilities of both primates and humans; and the implications which ape language research has for the study of the evolution of human language. Sure to be controversial, this exciting new volume offers a radical revision of the sciences of language and mind, and will be important reading for all those working in the fields of primatology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive and developmental psychology.
Description : It is the most complex and mysterious object in the universe. Covered by a dull grey membrane, it resembles a gigantic, convoluted fungus. Its inscrutability has captivated scientists, philosophers and artists for centuries. It is, of course, the human brain. With the help of science we can now begin to understand the extraordinary complexity of the brain's circuits: we can see which nerve cells generate electricity as we fall in love, tell a lie or dream of a lottery win. And inside the 100 billion cells of this rubbery network is something remarkable: you. In this entertaining and accessible book, Robert Winston takes us deep into the workings of the human mind and shows how our emotions and personality are the result of genes and environment. He explains how memories are formed and lost, how the ever-changing brain is responsible for toddler tantrums and teenage angst, plus he reveals the truth behind extra-sensory perception, déjà vu and out-of-body experiences. He also tells us how to boost our intelligence, how to tap into creative powers we never knew we had, how to break old habits and keep our brain fit and active as we enter old age. The human mind is all we have to help us to understand it. Paradoxically, it is possible that science may never quite explain everything about this extraordinary mechanism that makes each of us unique.
Description : Roger Penrose's original and provocative ideas about the large-scale physics of the Universe, the small-scale world of quantum physics and the physics of the mind have been the subject of controversy and discussion. These ideas were proposed in his best-selling books The Emperor's New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. In this book, he summarises and updates his current thinking in these complex areas to present a masterful summary of those areas of physics in which he feels there are major unresolved problems. Through this, he introduces radically new concepts which he believes will be fruitful in understanding the workings of the brain and the nature of the human mind. These ideas are challenged by three distinguished experts from different backgrounds: Abner Shimony and Nancy Cartwright as philosophers of science and Stephen Hawking as a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. Roger Penrose concludes with a response to their thought-provoking criticisms.
Description : This volume is unique in integrating different domains of psychology, at both theoretical and empirical levels of analysis, in order to understand the development of the human mind. Perspectives include comparative, cultural, and developmental psychology, in addition to neuropsychology. Contributors in this edited collection emphasize both the collective nature of human cognition and the impossibility of separating individuals from their sociocultural environments. They also explain how participation in culture leads to radical changes in an individual's psychological makeup. This volume may also be of interest to anthropologists, philosophy scholars, and semioticians. Major topics include: • Human Development from the Perspective of Comparative Psychology • Culture in the Developing or Regressing Brain • Cultural Perspective on the Human Development • The Role of Culture in Child Development