- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: Prospecta Press (February 19, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 193521280X
- ISBN-13: 978-1935212805
- Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Form Within: My Point of View
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About the Author
Born in Vienna in 1919, Pribram received his medical degree from the University of Chicago at the age of twenty three, becoming one of the first three hundred certified brain surgeons in the world. During his next decade as a neurosurgeon in Memphis and Jacksonville, he joined Karl Lashley at the Yerkes Primate Center, became its director, and pioneered the field of neuropsychologya term that Pribram invented.
He spent the following sixty years leading groundbreaking research into the interrelations of the brain, behavior, and the mind: ten years at Yale University, thirty years at Stanford University, and twenty years as distinguished professor at Radford and George Mason Universities and (simultaneously) as distinguished professor of psychology and cognitive neuroscience at Georgetown University, where he still serves today.
Pribram is the author of more than 700 books and scientific publications, including Plans and the Structure of Behavior (with George Miller and Eugene Galanter, 1960), which is credited with launching the Cognitive Revolution in Psychology; Languages of the Brain (1971); Freud’s Project” Re-assessed(with Merton Gill, 1976); and Brain and Perception (1989). He is the recipient of more than sixty major awards and honors, including a lifetime grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research; a Lifetime Research Career Award from the National Institute of Health; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Experimental Psychology and from the Washington Academy of Sciences; honorary doctorates in psychology and neuroscience from the Universities of Montreal and Bremen, Germany; and an Outstanding Contributions Award from the American Board of Medical Psychotherapists. He was the first recipient of the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Award for uniting the sciences and the humanities.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
American is publishing a new journal, Mind; Psychology Today is headlining studies of the workings of the brain; Popular Science and Discover are filled with tales of new discoveries that relate mind to brain and 37,000 neuroscientists are working diligently to make these discoveries possible.
It has not always been this way. When, as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago in the 1930s, I took a course on the nervous system, we stopped short of the brain cortexand what we now know as the limbic systems” was dismissed as a most mysterious territory called the olfactory brain.”
It was this very lack of knowledge that attracted me: The Form Within is the story of my adventures in charting
this most important world about which we then knew so little. In the process, the data I gathered and the colleagues with whom I worked changed what opinions I had brought to the research and added sophistication to my interpretations.
In retrospect what impresses meand what I urge my students to appreciateis the long time required, sometimes
decades of passion, persistence and patience, for an idea to ripen into a body of hard evidence and a theoretical
formulation that I was finally able to communicate clearly to others.
The Form Within tells the story of my voyage of discovery during almost a century of research and theory construction. The story is set within the frame of the discoveries of the previous century, the 19th, which totally revised
our understanding in the Western world of how our brains work. During the 17th century and earlier, the human brain
was thought to process air, often termed spirits.” With the advent of the sciences of chemistry and of electricity, a basic
understanding of brain processes was attained that, to a large extent, resembles our current views. Writings like those of William James and Sigmund Freud, around the juncture of the two centuries, will be referenced repeatedly in the following chapters.
My own story has a somewhat different perspective from that which is currently available in most neuro- and psychological science books and journals. For example, my interactions with the 20th century shapers of viewpoints”
in the brain and behavioral sciencesB. F. Skinner and Karl Lashley, experimental psychologists; Wilder Penfield,
neurosurgeon; Arthur Koestler, author; John Eccles, neurophysiologist and Karl Popper, philosopherexpose the questions that puzzled us rather than the dogma that has become associated with their names.
Thus, The Form Within is the story of my quest. It charts a voyage of discovery through 70 years of breakthroughs in brain and psychological research. More than a hundred students have obtained their doctoral and postdoctoral training in my laboratory and gone on to productive and in some cases outstanding careers. Collaboration with scientists on five continents has formed and continues to form my views. The voyage is not over: each month I’ve had to add to, and in some cases revise, this manuscript. But as a work in progress, The Form Within is to me an inspiring chronicle of a most exciting voyage through what, often, at the time, has seemed to be a storm of experimental
and theoretical findings. As you will see, the concept of formthe form within as formative causationprovides a novel and safe vessel for this journey.
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Top Customer Reviews
The wondrous thing with this book is how well it is written, so that this challenging view is not just readily comprehended by the motivated reader, but is utterly convincing. And having toiled through some of Dr. Pribram's very detailed and complex texts and papers, I am fairly stunned at just how entertaining and enjoyable this book is. It's just plain readable. And in the process one not only attains an important viewpoint, but a thorough history of the field. Bravo Karl, this is a stunning achievement.
pionneers of brain research over the past two hunderd years. One caveat: this is not science 101. Be prepared to work hard, while you're introduced to a new way of thinking about the brain. When you finish the 500+ pages, you will know you've read something special.
It is incredibly insightful. You will learn much. And if this subject is something you specialize in, many things will be clarified. Your view on the subject will be better informed.
Many ideas well summarized as well.
Allan Combs, Ph.D.; author of over 200 works on consciousness and the brain, and Director of the CIIS Center for Consciousness Studies.