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8 Reviews
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book when you're young---
In another lifetime, I would have studied neurobiology--and this book would have been what inspired me. I read this book a decade ago, and recently re-read it. It's still as good; and is enhanced by Asimov's forward. The book touches on the relationship between who we are physically, and what we think. There are chapters explaining the intricate link between our senses...
Published on October 21, 2001 by M. Nichols-Haining

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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start, gets bogged down for the long haul.
This book really seemed promising, with a great title and a very fine first 50 pages or so. But then it sort of gets lost, meandering through a survey of all sorts of disconnected research material. It seems to be saying the same things over and over, pozing interesting questions along the way, but always just leaving them on the table and moving on. I had to...
Published on September 23, 1998


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book when you're young---, October 21, 2001
This review is from: The Three Pound Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
In another lifetime, I would have studied neurobiology--and this book would have been what inspired me. I read this book a decade ago, and recently re-read it. It's still as good; and is enhanced by Asimov's forward. The book touches on the relationship between who we are physically, and what we think. There are chapters explaining the intricate link between our senses (visual perception and sound, for example--how sound can sometime produce 'colors').
The Three-Pound Universe discusses madness, heaven and hell, god, the neurobiology of madness, altered states of consciousness....it touches on a lot, without going too in depth. It was a great introduction, one that inspired me to read more on the subject. If this book had been published in the 1980's, and I had stumbled on it in high school, it could have changed my life.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best book available to study the brain, September 11, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Three Pound Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
I have a head injured son and I have made it an avocation to study the brain and how it works. Out of the dozens of books I've read - this is the most exhaustive and thorough book I've seen. More importantly, the material covers everything you'd want to know about our minds including psychology, philosophy as well as the physiology. It's entertaining as well as informative. I keep giving my copies away so I keep having to buy more. I highly recommend this book - for the uninformed as well as the most knowledgable of experts. It's hard to find another book as comprehensive.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing and wonderful book, April 7, 2001
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This review is from: The Three Pound Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
This is one of those books that end up profoundly affecting your life and your world view. I changed the direction of my career because of things I read in here. Take a chance and read it. You will never view the world quite the same again. It led me to read at least ten more books that were mentioned in it and they were great too. Reading this book is really a worthwhile way to spend your time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and intriguing read, January 4, 2007
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fygar (hermosa beach, ca) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 3-Pound Universe (Paperback)
Anyone remotely interested in the brain, neuroscience, or just science in general may enjoy this book. It is written in an informal, conversational style. At times the author gets slightly carried away with her own wit, but her personality does keep the book lively. The contents of the book could be described as a broad survey of the various aspects of (at the time) the current understanding of the brain -- intertwined around a series of relevant interviews with some of the notable researchers in the field.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start, gets bogged down for the long haul., September 23, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Three Pound Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
This book really seemed promising, with a great title and a very fine first 50 pages or so. But then it sort of gets lost, meandering through a survey of all sorts of disconnected research material. It seems to be saying the same things over and over, pozing interesting questions along the way, but always just leaving them on the table and moving on. I had to fight to read the last 50 pages (I hate not finishing books). Good cover and publishing job.
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4.0 out of 5 stars neuroscientists in search of novel ideas need this book, November 1, 2013
This review is from: The Three Pound Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
Current antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antianxiety drugs target the same molecules as drugs invented in the 1950s. In 2012, the number of new psychiatric drugs approved by the FDA was zero. The number approved so far in 2013 is also zero. At the same time, one in five Americans takes at least one psychiatric drug, often with limited benefits and undesirable side effects. Due to repeated losses of investments, large pharmaceutical companies have recently reduced or eliminated psychiatric programs. The pace of research advances by MD and PhD neuroscientists in universities supported by official granting institutions is, frankly, not a source of much hope for today's patients and their relatives. The costs of mental illnesses worldwide are tremendous.

This book was written by a computer engineer. Likely some of its critics have essentially no understand of how large, complex circuits and systems maintain stability in complex environments; in particular they may lack university courses and industrial experience in computer systems. The author, Mr. Millers, does not.

The book leverages a novel approach to brain dynamics with gating circuits, designs for memory storage and access, and feedback loops that support stability (e.g. winner-take-all circuits). The same ideas have appeared sporadically in scientific papers, but not to my knowledge in any single volume. It is a book many practicing neuroscientists would do well to read. They could congratulate themselves upon finding factual errors (there are many), but they would be wise to talk to computer engineers about the passages on circuits that mystify them. They would be unwise to dismiss the book entirely.

I ardently wish the author would publish a second edition with references to the neuroscientific literature for most of the statements in the book, pointing us to the sources of his ideas. This would be a huge job because on many pages, almost all sentences need references. It also needs a much larger index and proofreading by a professional writer. By the way, the books of another California scientist Richard Feynman benefitted in the same way as this one would by professional proofreading and editing. (Dr. Feynman was not known for his mastery of or interest in grammar and spelling). In my opinion, the present author is at the same level of inventiveness as was Dr. Feynman

Neuroscientists ignorant of circuit and stability theory as described in this book and not willing to learn the same from engineers are likely to go nowhere in terms of understanding mental illnesses, in my opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Okay, February 28, 2014
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It was certainly an interesting read. I love the authors' tone, very light hearted and humorous. Makes a complicated subject easy for the lay-man to read. Sometimes it got a little long and dry, but they do try. If this is your passion, this is a lovely book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just Read It, February 15, 2008
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J. Swigart (San Diego, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Three Pound Universe (Mass Market Paperback)
Fascinating and fun to read without being too "dumbed-down" Anyone who enjoys magazines like Discover or shows like Nova will like this book.
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The Three Pound Universe
The Three Pound Universe by Judith Hooper (Mass Market Paperback - September 1, 1991)
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