- Hardcover: 264 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (December 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470647787
- ISBN-13: 978-0470647783
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of How, When, Why and Who We Love Hardcover – December 27, 2011
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"This basic introduction to the neuroscience of love and sex is a good starting place for readers new to the subject...one hopes it will whet readers' appetites for more nuanced explorations of this area of research." (Library Journal, April 2012)
From the Inside Flap
Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Is love really a mystery, or can neuroscience offer some answers to these age-old questions?
In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love—from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic love, the affectionate love of companionship, the role of animals in our lives, and the love of God.
Drawing on the latest neuroscience, she explores why and how we are born to love—how we're hardwired to crave the companionship of others, and how very badly things can go without love. Among the findings: parental love makes our brain bigger, sex and orgasm make it healthier, social isolation makes it miserable—and although the craving for romantic love can be described as an addiction, friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life.
Based on recent studies and articles culled from the prestigious Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, and the Brain offers a fascinating look at how the brain controls our loving relationships, most intimate moments, and our deep and basic need for connection.
Top Customer Reviews
Horstman's book offers easy to read science. This text is a collage of informative analyses of various types of love showing to the reader how these inner and personal sensations can be analyzed from a neuroscience point of view. She also makes an attempt to define and critically analyze types of love such as the romantic (obsessive) love, the unconditional, and religious types of love, and the "cyber love"--the Internet dependency on images, sexually driven websites, and pornography. For example, in chapter nine of the book, Horstman writes: "Technology, Science, and the Future of Sex," she writes: "In his 1973, film Sleeper, Woody Allen predicted that people of the future won't bother to get all sweaty and personal for sex: they'll just step into an Orgasmatron where (presumably) a pleasure center in the brain will be stimulated by signals that zap just the right spot..... it is not so far-fetched, since we know stimulation form electrodes implanted in the brain can produce orgasms."
Horstaman is a reporter with an ability to present complex information with accuracy supported with enthralling visuals, evidences, and case studies that support each chapter's topic. This book holds the reader's attention throughout the chapters and everybody can easily become knowledgable about basics of the brain functioning and various brain imaging techniques used to address how do love and sex originate in the neural firings relevant to the specific brain areas. One of the most interesting chapters discusses various arousal simulations of the brain--implants, zapping the areas of the brain--that could instigate personal pleasures and result in an improved sexual life.
One of the chapters is seriously concerned that love and sex in our modern times are stimulated by the virtual world of the Internet. The flood of sexually charged pictures and porno-online sites witness that many individuals find sexual escapism without the attempt to focus on true human relationships. One of the major questions of Horstman's book is focused on how much our sense of love, relationships, and sex is changing through the maze of the Internet "cyber-spells" offering the line of concerns: Will dating become outdated? Will sex overpower the unconditional love? Could the religious experience be enhanced and induced by zapping the brain (Persinger)? Is it enough to zap the brain and please person's sexual cravings bypassing all the "soul" troubles such as falling in love? With all these technological and neuroscience advances, in the future, will the notion of love, as we know it, survive?
The writing is easy to follow and there are 16 pages of illustrated diagrams that help understand where the relevant brain structures are found as they are discussed in the text. One drawback is that I started off not knowing they were there, because they were all in the center of the book for quick reference. Also, since I'm not an expert in the anatomy of the brain it can require several reads before mastering the locations where each of the different processes discussed actually happen. However, the first pass is very enjoyable and you don't need to be a neurosurgeon to understand and appreciate it. Overall, this book earned its appropriately called 5 star rating by stimulating my pleasure centers to the point were `I love it'.