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The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them Paperback – December 24, 2012
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"The Emotional Life of Your Brain is an eye-opener, replete with breakthrough research that will change the way you see yourself and everyone you know. Richard Davidson and Sharon Begley make a star team: cutting-edge findings formulated in a delightful, can't-put-it-down read. I loved this book."—Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence
"What a gift from the world's leading neuroscientist who works on what makes life worth living. This is a must-read for everyone who is interested in positive psychology."—Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., author of Learned Optimism
About the Author
Sharon Begley is the senior health and science correspondent at Reuters. She is the bestselling author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.
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This book traces the author's history in psychological and neuroscience research. At first that bugged me as it seemed to be all about him. Most of the research in this book is his own and/or that of his students. However, in the end I think that turned out to be a good thing both because he quite obviously is a preeminent expert in the field and he goes pretty deep into the implications of his own findings. In other words he knows what he is talking about and not just speculating about the meaning of someone else's work. In any case you see the history and the evidence in favor of the author's ideas build over time and he does an excellent job putting it all together. He definitely believes you can alter to some degree your emotional profile and he ends the book with suggestions for exercises on how do to that for any of the six dimensions he describes.
You will come away from reading this book with a much deeper understanding of the dimensions of your emotional style and their underlying neural correlates. This book is definitely for the general reader and while it is densely packed with information it is not overly technical or academic.
I highly recommend this to readers who are curious about the brain in general or emotions in particular.
I'm disappointed that this book does not have Amazon's "Search Inside" feature so I will include the contents below and hope that helps you get a better feel for its contents:
Introduction: A Scientific Quest
Chapter 1: One Brain Does Not Fit All
Chapter 2: The Discovery of Emotional Style
Chapter 3: Assessing Your Emotional Style
Chapter 4: The Brain Basis of Emotional Style
Chapter 5: How Emotional Style Develops
Chapter 6: The Mind-Brain-Body Connection, or How Emotional Style Influences Health
Chapter 7: Normal and Abnormal, and When "Different" Becomes Pathological
Chapter 8: The Plastic Brain
Chapter 9: Coming Out of the Closet
Chapter 10: The Monk in the Machine
Chapter 11: Rewired, or Neurally Inspired Exercises to Change Your Emotional Style
Top international reviews
That being said, the remainder of the book is replete with new age narratives and incessant reiterations of Emotional Style (always beginning with capitals, a thoroughly irritating ploy). Davidson's underlying concepts explaining his findings are highly outdated and reek of the social constructionist movement that dominated psychological thinking in the late 80's. The functional analysis of human cognition and emotion had already realized the plasticity inherent in humans almost three decades ago, with contemporary evolution science only realizing the necessity of assessing the activity of an organism as a whole.
I suggest Dr. Davidson read the attached link to appreciate how far a field has come conceptually and empricially
I purchased as part of a course I am doing but would be happy to have read anyway