The Body Has a Mind of Its Own

by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee


 

 
Now available in paperback

 

Your body has a mind of its own. You know it's true. forex trading You can feel it, you can sense it, even though it may be hard to articulate. You know your body is more than just a meat-vehicle for your mind to cruise around in, but how deeply are mind, brain and body truly interwoven? Take a moment to ask yourself: How do you know you have a body? What gives you your sense of being in charge of it, and how real, how robust, how fragile is that sense? How does your mind know where your body ends and the outside world begins? Answers can be found in the emerging science of body maps...
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Praise for The Body Has a Mind of Its Own...


Rated one of the

top five science books of 2007

by the Washington Post


The Blakeslees venture deep into the mysterious folds of the brain to reveal how its representations of our physical selves aren't always accurate. Yet body maps do morph and can even incorporate clothing, vehicles, and video game characters on the fly, making them feel like your own flesh and blood. With captivating anecdotes and mind-bending tricks, this book shows how we often blur the boundaries between the corporal self, the mind, and the outside world.

The journal Nature says:
[This book presents] some of the most exciting discoveries in neuroscience. The unifying theme is the idea that the way our body is mapped by neural circuits in the brain can account for a range of our experiences and perceptions. Using a readable and inspiring format, the authors showcase new and classic research on neural representations, without compromising accuracy...

Anecdotes and ideas from sister disciplines, including neurology, psychiatry and cultural anthropology, mix comfortably with laboratory observations. New discoveries titillate our curiosity, explaining common phenomena such as yo-yo dieting and contagious yawning as well as some more bizarre neurological abnormalities such as alien-hand syndrome and supernumerary-limb perception. Also covered are why you cannot tickle yourself, why some people have ‘out-of-body’ experiences, and why babies in Mali walk earlier than those anywhere else in the world...

The Body has a Mind of its Own is a thought-provoking book of wide appeal. It is a striking example of how  complex issues in contemporary research can be presented to entertain everyone.

Etched in your brain are maps that correspond to your body and the space and objects around you. How these maps work and what happens when they go awry are the subjects of the Blakeslees' highly readable book.

As a biologist who reads both widely and deeply about a number of scientific topics, it is very rare when I read a popular book that adds depth and nuance to my understanding of a biological phenomenon, but [this] is that book...

The Body Has a Mind of its Own is an engaging book that will be appreciated by anyone who has an interest in the brain and how it functions. Additionally, I think that sports fans, athletes, dancers and people who are working to readjust their altered body maps, such as anorexics, people who are working at losing weight and those who have suffered a stroke, will especially benefit from reading this book.

The journal Neuron says:
The authors have very skillfully managed to integrate many seemingly disparate but hot topics in cognitive neuroscience together into a volume that is dedicated to understanding how our brains allow our bodies to make sense of, and interact with, the external surroundings and indeed other people. This book is a must-read [not just for the general population but] for the neuroscientist also—there is currently nothing out there that manages to integrate the existing literature so well.
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