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Neuronal Man Reprint Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691026664
ISBN-10: 0691026661
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Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

An outstanding attempt to convey to the general public an interdisciplinary understanding of the human nervous system.

Review

"Jean-Pierre Changeux . . . explores the fascinating question of how the human brain, similar in so many ways to the brains of less developed species, is able to accomplish so much more. . . . [He] presents his . . . view with verve, conviction, and an admirable lucidity."--Richard Restak, Washington Post Book World

"An outstanding attempt to convey to the general public an interdisciplinary understanding of the human nervous system."--Nature
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Science Library
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (April 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691026661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691026664
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,755,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By M. Lilliquist on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although this book is written by an accomplished scientist about an intrinsically fascinating topic, I found it to be quite disappointing. The title would seem to offer more - a discussion which connects the neurons of our brains with ourselves as people. Nope, not in this book.
The main shortcoming of this book is it's focus on the lower levels of brain function - physiology and chemistry. This makes some sense, given the authors own ground-breaking research on synaptic transmission. Unfortunately, this emphasis also means that any systems-level understanding of the brain and of behavior is almost completely missing. There is virtually no neuropsychological content. There's no real discussion of language, human learning, perception, cognition, etc. The whole affair is decidely reductionistic.
As an example of the magnitude of the mismatch between what the reader might expect and what Changeux offers: "consciousness" is discussed on two brief pages, and what he writes about is consciousness as in sleeping or staying awake!
There are an increasing number of excellent books on the human brain written by leading scientists. For example, please don't confuse this book with the far-better and similarly titled work by Joseph LeDoux, called "The Synaptic Self." Read that book instead "Neuronal Man." If you're feeling ambitious, try Steven Pinker's "How the Mind Works." If you're into the more philosophical questions, try Antonio Damnasio's "The Feeling of What Happens." Now, that's a book which really connects our minds to our bodies!
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Format: Paperback
I found this a bit of a slog. Needs more helpful diagrams -- color would help -- and a little more life. Despite the mass of info here, I don't quite know how much I really learned from this, although there certainly was a lot in it to learn, but because it didn't really do the trick for me. Better for hard core biology types I expect.
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