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Neuroscientists once believed your brain was essentially "locked down" by adulthood. No new cells. No major changes. If you grew up depressed, angry, sad, aggressive, or nasty, you'd be that way for life. And, as you grew older, there'd be nowhere to go but down, as disease, age, or injury wiped out precious, irreplaceable brain cells. But over the past five, ten, twenty years, all that's changed. Using fMRI and PET scanning technology, neuroscientists can now look deep inside the human brain and they've discovered that it's amazingly flexible, resilient, and plastic.
Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are shows you what they've discovered and what it means to all of us. Through author Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald’s masterfully written narrative and use stunning imagery, you'll watch human brains healing, growing, and adapting to challenges. You'll gain powerful new insights into the interplay between environment and genetics, begin understanding how people can influence their own intellectual abilities and emotional makeup, and understand the latest stunning discoveries about coma and "locked-in" syndrome. You'll learn about the tantalizing discoveries that may lead to cures for traumatic brain injury, stroke, emotional disorders, PTSD, drug addiction, chronic pain, maybe even Alzheimer's. Boleyn-Fitzgerald shows how these discoveries are transforming our very understanding of the "self", from an essentially static entity to one that can learn and change throughout life and even master the art of happiness.
Part I: Snapshots
Chapter 1: Life, Death, and the Middle Ground 3
Chapter 2: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Powerful Emotions and Our Power to Work with Them 21
Chapter 3: Happiness on the Brain 37
Chapter 4: Cooling the Flame: Pictures of Addiction, Chronic Pain, and Recovery 53
Part II: Landscape
Chapter 5: Where Does Morality Live, and When Is It Home? 69
Chapter 6: The Making and Breaking of Memories 89
Chapter 7: Where Am "I"? Experiences of Self, Other, and Neither 109
About the Author 165