The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment And the Developing Social Brain (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) 1st Edition

27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393704549
ISBN-10: 0393704548
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Review

Cozolino adds...impressive contributions to the increasingly important field of neurobiology and attachment theory, and how these contribute to human development. (Clinical Social Work, Dennis Miehls) REVIEW: Reading this book has added a whole new dimension to my work and everyday life. Highly recommended. (Therapy Today, Andrew Barley)

Reading this book has added a whole new dimension to my work and everyday life. Highly recommended.

Review

Reading this book has added a whole new dimension to my work and everyday life. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393704548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393704549
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 155 people found the following review helpful By An Amazon customer on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a seasoned psychotherapist in private practice in West Los Angeles, I read and thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Cozolino's well written exploration into the brain and our human propensity to attach and, hopefully, develop a self. Dr. Cozolino leads this exploration in a very reader friendly, yet scientific manner, illuminating the path with on target vignettes and cogent observations that has you underlining and starring his text repeatedly as a personal assurance to go back and reread that terrific insight once again. This adventure into the brain, it's chemistry,and our ability,and inabilities to attach is exceptionally depicted. Dr. Cozolino manages to deftly depict our brain function, and hook it to the regions of the brain that may be responsible. If you read Antonio Demasio's Descartes Error, and enjoyed it, you will absolutely enjoy this well written, interestingly presented and thoroughly documented book by Dr. Cozolino. I have never written a review, but the goodness of this book demanded I do so now. After reading this book, you will come away with a knowledge base you simply did not have before. It is one of those rare of rare books, truly 5 star.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By shrinkwrapt on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am in a neuroscience book group composed of clinical psychologists and social workers that has been meeting for four years. We've read about 25 books in this group over the years. Much of it has been tough going. This and Cozolino's book, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, are two of the very best. They are comprehensive, clinically relevant, very well written, even entertaining. The clinical vignettes bring the neuroscience to life. His speculations as to the implications of the science and his ability to integrate it with attachment theory and clinical observations are compelling and stimulating. I have not written a review before but I am so grateful for these books that I felt motivated to do so. Couldn't recommend them more.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on September 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is remarkable how many neuroscientists lose their nerve.

They often fail to follow insights and findings to their logical conclusions.

As an example, the brain consists of hundreds of systems and circuits each dedicated to specific functions, but most also able to contribute to the overall functioning of the organ and the organism. When the need arises, they can be recruited and pressed into the service of the greater good. These systems and circuits are the fruit of millions of years of evolution, but until recently few people saw them for what they are: individuals that also belong to ever more complex organizational hierarchies. Neurons, glia cells and the other key contributors to the functions of the brain live to communicate and cooperate. Each on its own is a stunted thing. Together they can create the works of Shakespeare, or work out how to go to the moon.

Louis Cozolino is professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, and in this book he pushes the envelop of the idea that brains are social organisms that develop and grow from their interactions with each other and with the material, maternal, familial and social environments. The important point is that the brain is not a static structure. It continues to grow and develop throughout life, and experiences sculpt the physical and functional landscape of our minds and bodies. Not just traumatic or adverse experiences, but also the positive ones. Hence the idea that psychotherapy and meditation may help reverse or re-fashion the maldevelopment and faulty wiring created by events earlier in life.

The basic concept is important. There are still people embroiled in the sterile nature vs. nurture debate.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brice Aristide Tene Defo on September 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this book, Dr. Cozolino presents the brain as a social organ. He asserts that just as neurons need each other to grow and thrive through neural communication, our brains themselves need other brains, as they influence our brains' development and their capacity to learn, to adapt, and to heal throughout life. The brain is shaped by relationships throughout life. Indeed, "the brain is a social organ built through experience." Before purchasing this book, I expected the author to explore the parts of the brain that regulate social interactions. He exceeded my expectations.

This is a tremendously informative book for neuroscientists, psychiatrists, and for the layman. It suggests that neuroscientists adopt a social perspective in studying the brain. It lays out for psychotherapists a new approach to successful psychotherapy, which incorporates authentic relationships with their patients. It counsels parents to develop healthy relationships with their children, for the quality of parenting and early relationships leave an indelible mark on their children's brains. It emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships for the well-being of our brains.

The first part of the book, The Emergence of Social Neuroscience, coins the concept of the" social synapse". The author claims that as neurons communicate across synapses, people communicate across the social synapse. It is through this social synapse that we impact each other's neurobiology and, as a result, each other's behaviors. Our survival is contingent upon bridging this social synapse daily.

The second part, The social brain: Structures and Functions, explores the structures and systems that participate in the social functions of the brain.
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