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The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind Paperback – December 5, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0195156300 ISBN-10: 0195156307

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195156307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195156300
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.8 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"An intriguing exploration of the most challenging topic in cognitive neuroscience, the executive function of the prefrontal cortex."--American Scientist


"It is only now...that we are beginning to get the full measure of complexity [of the living body], to see how nature and culture interact, and how brain and mind produce each other. There are a handful, a small handful, of remarkable books which address these central problems with great force--those of Gerald Edelman and Antonio Damasio at once come to mind--and to this select number, Elkhonon Goldberg's book The Executive Brain should surely be added."--Oliver Sacks, The New York Review of Books


"A masterful review of Elkhonon Goldberg's decades-long investigation of the frontal lobes, weaving his personal and professional experiences into the account."--Allan F. Mirsky, Ph.D., Section Chief, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH


About the Author


Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D. divides his time between the clinical practice of neuropsychology, research in cognitive neuroscience, and teaching worldwide. He is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine and Director of the Institute of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Performance. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

I found the book to be extremely fascinating and informative.
Anu
It's full of the latest discoveries in neuroscience and provides clinical vignettes to illustrate the author's vast experience with patients worldwide.
"lewybodies"
This is an excellent book on the brain focusing on the most advanced area of our brains, the cerebral cortex, specifically, the frontal lobes.
Magellan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Margo True on May 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Most of us wander through our days without any conscious thought about the very organ that's directing our routine. But anyone who reads Dr. Goldberg's compelling, lively account of the brain's frontal lobes will come away with a newfound appreciation for their own gray matter. As Goldberg tells it, not only do the frontal lobes help us prioritize tasks and give us our awareness of ourselves and others, they also play a crucial role in creativity and talent, and are the reason they're as civilized as we are. (Next time I see someone toss their trash on the street, I'll think, Weak Frontal Lobes!) Although the book was written with both a general and a scientifically adept readership in mind, it's never so technical that the layperson can't follow the discussion. I found this book stimulating, witty, and illuminating.
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72 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Rick on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sorry, but I found the book disappointing. The author notes in the first few pages the book is "an idiosyncratic account of my own understanding of several central issues of cognitive neuroscience and of the personal context that let me to write about it" and that's an understatement. Highly personal and very idiosyncratic are the watchwords. If you are looking to gain an understanding of the frontal lobes and executive functions you will find this book comes up short. Zero attempt is made to provide even highlights of the most necessary topics, or even a cursory and minimally sufficient survey of well-accepted research in this area. At best you have a few good points raised. Even those however are difficult to distinguish from personal bias and preference.

Chapter one is a sales pitch for the rest of the book with virtually no information presented. Chapter two is an odd account of the author's career, again with no information presented. The end few chapters are likewise completely tangential. Having excised the filler, what's left is very thin. References are likewise scant and the index is an embarrassment.

The coup de grace however was the patently offensive entire chapter advertising the author's private clinical services. Aimed at attracting aging but otherwise high functioning, bright people, who presumably make clinical work more palatable, the service offered is to rejuvenate or improve aging mental horsepower. I hope the idiosyncratic and highly personal techniques employed in clinical practice are more effective than the content delivered in this book. None of the cognitive techniques are actually discussed, even superficially. One can only hope they carry the same warnings as the herbal supplements - "these treatments have not been tested, and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." Likewise perhaps the title of the book could be changed to "Selected Memoirs of a Neuropsychologist."
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By "lewybodies" on March 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book explores not just the frontal lobes but the brain from every angle.....from how we engage in complex mental operations to our social behavior. It's full of the latest discoveries in neuroscience and provides clinical vignettes to illustrate the author's vast experience with patients worldwide. The chapter on Social Maturity, Morality, Law, and the Frontal Lobes is exceptionally well-done and provides a keen insight into the behavior that has captured national headlines in recent times. This book should be required reading for all students of social science. Highly readable for every type of audience. The reader learns something new on each page. Very hard to put down....an excellent read!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Campbell on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a child with a brain injury and found that the material contained in this book helpful in understanding her processing difficulties and gave me ideas to put in place to help overcome some of those differences. The book provided me with a better understanding of how certain neuropsychological tests measure what they say they measure. The Executive Brain was so helpful to me that I purchased additional copies and gave them friends and teachers who either have or work with children with learning difficulties. The beginning of Goldberg's work takes place during the time of the Soviet Union. Having traveled in Russia, I found his account of events there facinating.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Anu on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I found the book to be extremely fascinating and informative. It was well written for a comprehensive understanding of the material. Most interesting was the case studies which brought a sense of reality to the scientific nature. The balance between research and personal experience allows for accessibility to a wide range of readers. It is something I will definitely recommend for others to enjoy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Fabian on May 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Rarely is a serious scientific work, like this, which is accessible to lay people, so engaging and personal, while maintaining its scientific rigor. This is work well done. Neurologists might only appreciate the topic of focus, the brain's frontal lobes, but Dr. Goldberg delivers it in an engrossing and engaging manner.

There is a wealth of information here for both the lay and serious reader. I recommend this work for its comprehensive details and readability. Dr. Goldberg's personal accounts are a wonderful bonus.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dr. Goldberg does a phenomenal job at explaining complex cogntivie neuroscience principals in simple and readily understandable terms. This book is useful for all interested in brain-behavior relationships and a must for neuropsychology students. Even seasoned professionals will find Dr. Goldberg's views refreshing, insightful and intriguing.
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