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Book
340 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
What separates your mind from an animal's? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future-all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet's preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we've underestimated their abilities for too long. People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you're less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal-and human-intelligence.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780393246186 20160704
Science Library (Li and Ma)
THINK-15-01
Book
xii, 300 p. : ill ; 24 cm.
  • Miracle waters (Evolution): The enchanted loom
  • This island earth
  • Why we ask why?
  • The fibs of being
  • Light breaks where no sun shines
  • Sweet dreams of reason (The physical brain): The shape of thought
  • Inner space
  • Attention please
  • A passion for patterns
  • In the church of the pines
  • Einstein's brain
  • The mind's eye
  • Pavilions of desire (Memory): What is a memory?
  • Reflections in a gazing ball
  • Remember what?
  • Remember, I dream
  • Hello, he lied
  • Traumatic memories
  • Smell, memory, and the erotic
  • Never a dull moment (The self, and other fictions): Introducing the self
  • The other self
  • Personality
  • Shall it be male of female? Say the cells
  • Creating minds
  • The world is breaking someone else's heart (Emotions): The emotional climate
  • The pursuit of happiness
  • The color of saying (Language): Memory's accomplice
  • Metaphors be with you
  • The color of saying
  • Shakespeare on the brain
  • The wilderness within (The world we share): Oasis
  • Conscience and consciousness
  • A kingdom of neighbors
  • The beautiful captive.
The most ambitious and enlightening work to date from the bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses, An Alchemy of Mind combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate, as never before, the magic and mysteries of the human mind. Long treasured by literary readers for her uncommon ability to bridge the gap between art and science, celebrated scholar-artist Diane Ackerman returns with the book she was born to write. Her dazzling new work, An Alchemy of Mind, offers an unprecedented exploration and celebration of the mental fantasia in which we spend our days -- and does for the human mind what the bestselling A Natural History of the Senses did for the physical senses. Bringing a valuable female perspective to the topic, Diane Ackerman discusses the science of the brain as only she can: with gorgeous, immediate language and imagery that paint an unusually lucid and vibrant picture for the reader. And in addition to explaining memory, thought, emotion, dreams, and language acquisition, she reports on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and addresses controversial subjects like the effects of trauma and male versus female brains. In prose that is not simply accessible but also beautiful and electric, Ackerman distills the hard, objective truths of science in order to yield vivid, heavily anecdotal explanations about a range of existential questions regarding consciousness, human thought, memory, and the nature of identity.
Science Library (Li and Ma)
THINK-15-01
Book
263 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Green Library, Science Library (Li and Ma)
THINK-15-01