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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2013
I downloaded this book since my daughter was hit by a car and has some brain damage. It is very informative and helps you to understand how the brain works and that there is hope for unknown reasons why some people recover brain injuries and others do not. I am one of the lucky ones as my daughter has overcome most of her injury, but we still have a long way to go.
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on July 6, 2012
Pictures of the Mind touches on the neuroscience related to an array of topics including happiness, morality, addiction and pain to name a few. Through the use of fMRI studies, it gives an interesting look at the way psychology and philosophies of such topics are intertwined with neuroscience and specifically plasticity of the brain.

The author offers a great deal of information relating the imaging studies to developmental changes of the adult brain; however, I wish she had followed through with more detail on some of the studies. The author worked to point out as many studies as possible instead of focusing on the facts of each study and how they define plasticity. Pictures of the imaging studies were also included in the book; however, they were not placed near the referenced study and their descriptions were not clear enough to decipher the findings without referring back to previous sections of the book.

All in all, this was a very intriguing book that was easy to read. It involved enough neuroscience to support the claims, but not so much that it would bore a person who was not familiar with this area of science. This book gave me a greater appreciation for the old saying "mind over matter" and the control we as individuals have over the way our minds work.
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on June 27, 2014
I found this book very interesting and thought-provoking. I wondered when my mother was in a coma prior to her death in 1966 whether or not she knew I was there with her and if she could hear what I was saying. After reading this book, I now believe that she was aware of much of what was going on around her even while she was in a coma.

The neuro-imaging technology will probably be used to help us in ways we hadn't thought possible. The author points out that we must be careful, though, not to carry the possibilities too far and make serious ethical mistakes.

It was difficult for me to follow the pictures of the brain scans on my Kindle. I like being able to choose my font and my font size on my Kindle, and I like the idea of saving trees; but trying to skip back to the narrative about the pictures was not the best way for me to learn about the scans. For that part of the book, I would have preferred holding a book with paper pages in my hands.

I think I found only one typo in the book, and it was very minor.

Thank you, Beatles (yes, the singing group) for making the CT scanners possible through the donation from your recording company.
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on April 22, 2013
I have not finished this book, but there is no danger that I will stop reading it. It is taking longer than some because I am not a scientist. The reader must not be discouraged from buying it because it is very readable and one can always use the kindle dictionary to find words not understood. For me, it just takes longer to read than most of the things I buy, but it is so excellent - so informative - so encouraging to those interested in the way the brain works and interested in knowing more about the latest research that I cannot imagine not buying it. This book is superb.
Later: I have now finished the book and I still feel the way I felt when I wrote the above. All I can add is that, if you are the least bit interested in the subject of how the brain works and you are not a scientist, this book is for you!
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I loved this because it not only had a lot of new information and good writing, but also something you hardly ever read in scientific publications, human empathy. I am not saying that scientist do not care about humanity, that is the main reason most of them do what they do, because they care. But most of the things I have read that had actual statistics and breakthroughs in science tend to leave out the emotional and , well, human side of the story. We never find out what happened to the people those statistics are actually about, or how they felt about it. In this book you not only get to hear about cutting edge science, but the humanity behind it. Love it!
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on April 23, 2011
The many new developments in neuroscience can be technically intimidating to those without a science or medical background. This book does a great job of presenting neuroscience in a way that can easily be understood by the general reader. Anyone that has seen those large, somewhat intimidating machines in the hospital, the CAT scanner, MRI devices, etc. may have questions and this book presents a nice array of answers. It is all too easy to write a very technical book on this subject; I think the author's key contribution was to be able to write an interesting, approachable book that can be appreciated by a wide spectrum of readers.
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on April 15, 2011
Besides educating the lay reader on the different ways the physical brain functions, as well as it's plasticity, it also explores relevant, related topics such as the culpability of criminals whose physical brains predispose them towards poor judgment and/or lack of empathy. This book brings the implications hard sciences makes on social sciences right parallel against each other for an interesting and informative read; even the unlikely issues of identity and religion make an appearance. The ideas put out in this book will influence the way we think about people, identity, and society.
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on April 19, 2012
Very lucid and interesting description, of recent advances in the understanding of how our brains work or fail to. Without overburdening us with technical jargon, a clear picture emerges of how today's cutting-edge neuroscientists are unlocking the secrets of the most fascinating and important subject, how does our mind work our how does it fail.
I recommend this book to all those who want a pleasurable stroll through this fascinating subject and understand where science is and research will be going.
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on May 26, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. It was very hopeful to me, as I know many people suffering from problems such as depression and other mental illnesses. The research is accelerating at such a rapid pace, that I believe many people in my lifetime will benefit greatly. I would not purchase this book on a regular Kindle. I felt deprived of the color-coded pictures. Also, it's a very long book, and I would just rather turn the pages, so I could get a better feel of where I was in the book.
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on July 17, 2012
Fascinating read about the new developments in brain research through fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging. I didn't realize that the brain is "plastic" and continues to repair and develop past adolescence. This gives tremendous hope for people with brain injuries and illnesses, and suggests solutions for modern day concerns, including depression, bullying, anxiety disorders and the enhancement of personal happiness. Very interesting and informative. I highly recommend it.
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