Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are
Product Author Bios
For 15 years, Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald has published on a wide range of scientific topics geared to curious readers of all backgrounds. She believes in taking the boring out of “technical” so that we might all have ready access to knowledge that can help us lead happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
With a degree in physics from Swarthmore College, Ms. Boleyn-Fitzgerald is a former recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and the Ida M. Green Award for graduate studies in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has worked as a staff writer for President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments and as an analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Ms. Boleyn-Fitzgerald lives and writes in Appleton, Wisconsin, with her husband Patrick and their son Aidan.
Neuroscientists once believed your brain was essentially "locked down" by adulthood. No new cells. No major changes. If you grew up depressed, angry, sad, aggressive, or nasty, you'd be that way for life. And, as you grew older, there'd be nowhere to go but down, as disease, age, or injury wiped out precious, irreplaceable brain cells. But over the past five, ten, twenty years, all that's changed. Using fMRI and PET scanning technology, neuroscientists can now look deep inside the human brain and they've discovered that it's amazingly flexible, resilient, and plastic.
Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are shows you what they've discovered and what it means to all of us. Through author Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald’s masterfully written narrative and use stunning imagery, you'll watch human brains healing, growing, and adapting to challenges. You'll gain powerful new insights into the interplay between environment and genetics, begin understanding how people can influence their own intellectual abilities and emotional makeup, and understand the latest stunning discoveries about coma and "locked-in" syndrome. You'll learn about the tantalizing discoveries that may lead to cures for traumatic brain injury, stroke, emotional disorders, PTSD, drug addiction, chronic pain, maybe even Alzheimer's. Boleyn-Fitzgerald shows how these discoveries are transforming our very understanding of the "self", from an essentially static entity to one that can learn and change throughout life and even master the art of happiness.
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89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Full of surprises about how the brain works, and inspiration for the brain's potential,
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This review is from: Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are (FT Press Science) (Hardcover)In this book, scientist Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald reports the latest on fMRI scanners and what they reveal to neuroscientists. The brain, once thought to be fixed and locked in after a certain age, is now known to be plastic and to regenerate. This neuroplasticity can give us great hope for people with injuries, addictions, memory problems, etc.
The journey begins with a British woman who was thought to be in a PVS (persistent vegetative state) but found to be conscious the entire time, but unable to communicate. The book highlights cases of various states, such as a young athlete who had everything a young man could want until after a tragic accident. He has since been left in LIS (locked-in syndrome). People have conceptions that such people would want to die, but most of them find something to live for and ways to communicate, even if just by blinking.
Moral dilemmas appear as we learn more about the brain. For example, one part of the brain rules morality and... Read more
106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
Pictures of the Mind: a combination of neurology, psychology, and a how-to on happiness,
This review is from: Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are (FT Press Science) (Kindle Edition)I actually found this book randomly in the Kindle store while looking for books about Anne Boleyn, and decided to buy it on a whim due to a growing interest in neurology.
I'm glad I did.
This book taught me about the amazing possibilities and future of fMRI, but I also learned about just how important living in the present, as well as compassion and empathy, are to happiness.
As someone who suffers from extreme anxiety, i am deeply appreciative of the lessons I learned in this book. I have been walking down the crowded, stressful streets of San Francisco sending mental messages of "May you be free of suffering and all that causes it" towards strangers that usually scare me, and have found that love defeats all fear.
Thank you for writing this book and sharing your research with me. I can not express in words just how much it has helped free me from suffering, and may you be free of all suffering as well.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us About Who We Are (FT Press Science) (Kindle Edition)This book describes in very readable terms, the basic findings of recent research of the mind using fMRI imaging. Have you ever known someone that suffers (or has suffered) from anxiety disorders, coma, traumatic brain injuries? You need to look at this book! I picked it up on a whim and am so glad I did! This book does not give the "answers" but it explores research regarding the minds of "normal" people, those with Alzheimers, the aging mind, convicted criminals, teenagers, victims of traumatic brain injuries, etc. Absolutely fascinating and very informative! You will never look at people (especially "annoying" or "scary" people) the same after you read this!
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Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
Part I: Snapshots
Chapter 1: Life, Death, and the Middle Ground 3
Chapter 2: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Powerful Emotions and Our Power to Work with Them 21
Chapter 3: Happiness on the Brain 37
Chapter 4: Cooling the Flame: Pictures of Addiction, Chronic Pain, and Recovery 53
Part II: Landscape
Chapter 5: Where Does Morality Live, and When Is It Home? 69
Chapter 6: The Making and Breaking of Memories 89
Chapter 7: Where Am "I"? Experiences of Self, Other, and Neither 109
About the Author 165
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