Conventional science holds that "the mind" is only an illusion, a side effect of activity in the brain. Now comes a major work that argues exactly the opposite: that the mind has a life of its own. Schwartz, a leading researcher in brain dysfunctions, demonstrates that the human mind is an independent entity that can shape and control the physical ...Read MoreConventional science holds that "the mind" is only an illusion, a side effect of activity in the brain. Now comes a major work that argues exactly the opposite: that the mind has a life of its own. Schwartz, a leading researcher in brain dysfunctions, demonstrates that the human mind is an independent entity that can shape and control the physical brain. Illustrations.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2002-09-23 Schwartz (A Return to Innocence), a UCLA psychiatrist and expert on treating patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), teams up with Begley, a Wall Street Journal science columnist, to explore the mind/brain dichotomy and to discuss the science behind new treatments being developed for a host of brain dysfunctions. Building on the work presented in Schwartz's first book, Brain Lock, the authors begin by demonstrating that OCD patients are capable of rechanneling compulsive urges into more socially acceptable activities and that, by doing so, they actually alter their brains' neuronal circuitry. By presenting a wide array of animal and human experiments, Schwartz and Begley show that similar neuroplasticity is possible in stroke victims, often leading to a return of function previously thought impossible. The medical results and treatments they summarize are exciting and deserve widespread attention. In a chapter entitled "Free Will and Free Won't," the authors turn to the philosophical, examining the implications neuroplasticity might have on the differences between mind and brain; they also discourse on the existence of free will. Unfortunately, their integration of quantum mechanics and Buddhism into a search for a mechanism to explain the patterns scientists have been discovering is too superficial to fully engage readers. Nonetheless, a great deal in this book is sure to motivate discussion and more research. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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