By Steven Johnson
During this nationally bestselling, compulsively readable account of what makes mind technology an important portion of people's quest to understand themselves, acclaimed technological know-how author Steven Johnson topics his personal mind to a battery of assessments to determine what is rather occurring inside of. He asks: How can we "read" people? what's the neurochemistry at the back of love and intercourse? What does it suggest that the mind is teeming with strong chemical compounds heavily concerning leisure medicinal drugs? Why does song circulate us to tears? the place do step forward rules come from? Johnson solutions those and lots of extra questions coming up from the occasions of our daily lives. you don't have to be a neuroscientist to ask yourself, for instance, why do you smile? And why do you usually smile inappropriately, whether you don't need to? How do others learn your irrelevant smile? How does such interaction happen neurochemically, and what, if whatever, are you able to do approximately it? interesting and lucrative, brain broad Open speaks to mind buffs, self-obsessed neurotics, barstool psychologists, mystified mom and dad, grumpy spouses, exasperated managers, and somebody who enjoys speculating and gossiping concerning the motivations and behaviors of different humans. Steven Johnson exhibits us the transformative strength of figuring out mind technological know-how and provides new modes of introspection and instruments for greater parenting, larger relationships, and higher residing.
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Additional info for Mind Wide Open: Your Brain And The Neuroscience Of Everyday Life
Mindreading is faster than that, more invisible. The data it relies on flies by at lightning speed: a momentary tonal shift, a pause that suggests hesitation, a brief, inquisitive twist of the head. ”—but the act of interpretation itself is closer to a reflex than to a 34 of 216 MindWideOpen deliberate act of contemplation or analysis. One way of describing mindreading is via an idiom that we often use for performers: having a feel for your audience. Having a feel for your audience is different from being sensitive to the feelings of your audience, which is what empathy is all about.
Two reasons. First, if the memory is stored in some secure, undisclosed location of the mind, inaccessible to conscious awareness, then all sorts of possibilities for psychological dysfunction open up, because the memory has a dual life in your brain. The cortex can forget, but the amygdala can keep the fear alive, albeit somewhere below the radar of awareness. Before long, you’re finding yourself afraid of all sunny days everywhere, and you have no idea where the phobia originated. More important, though, if the amygdala is merely underlining important memories stored elsewhere, then the brain science is potentially telling us something new about the way we handle traumatic memories, particularly after an episode itself has passed.
This process—the root of all synaptic learning—goes by the name “Hebbian learning,” after the Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb, who first proposed the model in 1949. Think of a traumatic event from your own past, one that involves a sudden danger, like a car accident. You no doubt remember the immediate threat —headlights bearing down on you or a screeching tire—but most likely you also possess a number of extraneous memories: the song playing on the car stereo at the moment of impact, the color of the early-evening sky, the confused expression on the face of an onlooking pedestrian.