Another Day in the Frontal Lobe
A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
Paperback ISBN: 0812973402
A no-holds-barred memoir by a young female neurosurgeon journeys inside the world of brain surgery to provide a sometimes shocking view of her field, describing her tools of the trade in the operating room, the tough ethical dilemmas confronting doctors, some of her own most bizarre cases, trends in the neurosurgical field, and possible advances on the horizon. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.
The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-eye View of the World
Paperback ISBN: 0375760393
Focusing on the human relationship with plants, the author of Second Nature uses botany to explore four basic human desires--sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control--through portraits of four plants that embody them: the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato. 100,000 first printing.
Why Choose This Book?
How We Make Decisions
Hardcover ISBN: 0525949828
A director in theoretical neuroscience introduces readers to the latest findings in the science of decision-making, offering an accessible discussion of the origins of aesthetic choices, ethical behavior, financial decisions, and more, in an account that also connects behavioral science to mental illness and addiction.
The Great Naturalists
Hardcover ISBN: 0500251398
Traces the story of natural history as reflected by the lives, observations, and discoveries of some of the world's forefront naturalists, including Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, and Aristotle, in an account that is complemented by lavish paintings and drawings of animals and natural objects.
The Meme Machine
Paperback ISBN: 019286212x
What is a meme? First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene, a meme is any idea, behavior, or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation: stories, fashions, inventions, recipes, songs, ways of plowing a field or throwing a baseball or making a sculpture. The meme is also one of the most important--and controversial--concepts to emerge since The Origin of the Species appeared nearly 150 years ago. In The Meme Machine Susan Blackmore boldly asserts: "Just as the design of our bodies can be understood only in terms of natural selection, so the design of our minds can be understood only in terms of memetic selection." Indeed, Blackmore shows that once our distant ancestors acquired the crucial ability to imitate, a second kind of natural selection began, a survival of the fittest amongst competing ideas and behaviors. Ideas and behaviors that proved most adaptive--making tools, for example, or using language--survived and flourished, replicating themselves in as many minds as possible. These memes then passed themselves on from generation to generation by helping to ensure that the genes of those who acquired them also survived and reproduced. Applying this theory to many aspects of human life, Blackmore offers brilliant explanations for why we live in cities, why we talk so much, why we can't stop thinking, why we behave altruistically, how we choose our mates, and much more. With controversial implications for our religious beliefs, our free will, our very sense of "self," The Meme Machine offers a provocative theory everyone will soon be talking about.
On Genetic Variety and the Human body
Paperback ISBN: 0142004820
A study of congenital disease and some of the famous individuals whose lives were affected by congenital abnormalities describes a village of long-lived Croatian dwarves, a hair-covered Burmese royal court family, the ostrich-footed Wadoma of the Zambezi River valley, and others. Reprint.
The Red Queen
Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
Paperback ISBN: 0060556579
Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture -- including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.