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A groundbreaking investigation of the brain’s hidden logic behind our strangest behaviors, and of how conscious and unconscious systems interact in order to create our experience and preserve our sense of self.
From bizarre dreams and hallucinations to schizophrenia and multiple personalities, the human brain is responsible for a diverse spectrum of strange thoughts and behaviors. When observed from the outside, these phenomena are often written off as being just “crazy,” but what if they were actually planned and logical?
NeuroLogic explores the brain’s internal system of reasoning, from its unconscious depths to conscious decision making, and illuminates how it explains our most outlandish as well as our most stereotyped behaviors. From sleepwalking murderers, contagious yawning, and the brains of sports fans to false memories, subliminal messages, and the secret of ticklishness, Dr. Eliezer Sternberg shows that there are patterns to the way the brain interprets the world—patterns that fit the brain’s unique logic. Unraveling these patterns and the various ways they can be disturbed will not only alter our view of mental illness and supernatural experience, but will also shed light on the hidden parts of ourselves.
(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
About the Author
ELIEZER J. STERNBERG, M.D., is a resident neurologist at Yale–New Haven Hospital. With a background in neuroscience and philosophy, he studies how brain research can shed light on the mysteries of conscious-ness and decision making. He is the author of Are You a Machine? and My Brain Made Me Do It.
“Sternberg is not content to remain within the cozy confines of his medical specialty. That’s revealing, not just of his prodigious intellect but also because, as he refuses to be just another neurologist, the subject of his inquiry also refuses to be just another organ . . . [an] audacious, wise and compelling book.” —Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, The Washington Post
“A research-rich study of the neurological circuitry behind the narratives we use to make sense of things. Sternberg cracks open the brain’s “black box” to examine its parallel conscious and unconscious systems, and explores states from dreaming and acts on ‘autopilot’ to memory, hallucinations and trauma.” —Nature
“An enchanting journey . . . the author writes with brio and dash . . . of the brain’s ability to draw the story of our life, from experience and from thin air.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Eliezer J. Sternberg’s NeuroLogic is an eye-opener, an entertaining, yet thought-provoking investigation of how our brains work—including why we do some of the strange things we do. Sternberg pries open our minds to expose the way our brain operates, providing insight into topics ranging from our perceptions and habits, to hypnosis, language, and learning. Neurologic expertly guides the reader through the unconscious logic of the human brain. I came away from this book with an enhanced sense of who I am as a person.” —Leonard Mlodinow, author of Subliminal
“In NeuroLogic, Sternberg takes us on a fascinating exploration of the impulses and quirks that make us human. An innovative, engaging look inside the black box that is the mind.” —Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
“Dr. Sternberg's enthusiasm for neuroscience bursts out of every page. In clear language he tackles a series of fascinating neurological curiosities that are windows into the wonder of the brain.” —Dr. Sally Satel, author of Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience
“Neurologic is an exciting adventure, bringing the most fascinating mysteries of the mind to a very human level. It is a deeply engaging, thought-provoking, and fun read. Sternberg reaches a new level of popular neuroscience literature in the footsteps of Oliver Sacks but with fresh, novel appeal.” —Hal Blumenfeld, MD, PhD, author of Neuroanatomy through Clinical Cases
“With his explanation of the hidden logic behind the brain’s quirks, Eliezer Sternberg establishes himself as a fresh new voice for neuroscience.” —Sebastian Seung, author of Connectome
“Each chapter in Sternberg’s book reads like a detective novel. His passion for neurology shines through every page. Unlike many brain books, it is encyclopedic in range and scholarly in content, yet highly readable. It is also a valuable antidote to the ‘ neuron envy’ syndrome that many philosophers and psychologists suffer from.” —VS Ramachandran, author of The Tell-Tale Brain
“The more we learn about the brain the more illogical it seems we are, until you look inside our skulls and examine the brain from an inside perspective, at which point a certain neuro-logic emerges. Eliezer Sternberg’s brilliant examination of the human mind reveals the many reasons for our many seemingly unreasonable beliefs and actions. If you want to know why people think and act as they do in such irrational ways, NeuroLogic is the first book you should turn to for some rational answers.” —Michael Shermer, author of The Believing Brain