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Neuroscience

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  1. 11.3 hrs • 3/22/2016 • Unabridged

    An extraordinary memoir about the cutting-edge brain therapy that dramatically changed the life and mind of John Elder Robison, the New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye Imagine spending the first forty years of your life in darkness, blind to the emotions and social signals of other people. Then imagine that someone suddenly switches the lights on. John Elder Robison’s bestselling memoir Look Me in the Eye is one of the most widely read and beloved accounts of life with autism. In Switched On, Robison shares the second part of his journey, pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery as he undergoes an experimental brain therapy known as TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS drastically changes Robison’s life. After forty years of feeling like a social misfit—either misreading other people’s emotions or missing them completely, and accepting this as his fate—Robison can suddenly sense a powerful range of emotion in others as a result of the treatments: “It was as if I’d been experiencing the world in black and white all my life, and suddenly I could see everything—and particularly other people—in brilliant, beautiful color.” The ability to connect emotionally with others for the first time brings Robison a kind of joy he has never known. And yet, Robison’s newfound insight has very real downsides. As the emotional ground shifts beneath his feet, he must find a way to move forward without losing sight of who he is, what he values, and all he has worked so hard for. Robison is our guinea pig and our guide, bravely leading us on an adventure that holds the key to new ways of understanding the mysteries of the human brain. In this real-life Flowers for Algernon, he grapples with a trade-off, the very real possibility that choosing to diminish his disability might also mean sacrificing his unique gifts and even some of his closest relationships. Switched On is a fascinating and intimate window into what it means to be neurologically different, and what happens when the world as you know it is upended overnight.

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    Switched On

    Foreword and afterword by Marcel Just
    Introduction by Alvaro Pascual-Leon
    11.3 hrs • 3/22/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.3 hrs • 1/12/2016 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking investigation of the brain’s hidden logic behind our strangest behaviors, and of how conscious and unconscious systems interact in order to create our experience and preserve our sense of self. From bizarre dreams and hallucinations to schizophrenia and multiple personalities, the human brain is responsible for a diverse spectrum of strange thoughts and behaviors. When observed from the outside, these phenomena are often written off as being just “crazy,” but what if they were actually planned and logical? NeuroLogic explores the brain’s internal system of reasoning, from its unconscious depths to conscious decision making, and illuminates how it explains our most outlandish as well as our most stereotyped behaviors. From sleepwalking murderers, contagious yawning, and the brains of sports fans to false memories, subliminal messages, and the secret of ticklishness, Dr. Eliezer Sternberg shows that there are patterns to the way the brain interprets the world—–patterns that fit the brain’s unique logic. Unraveling these patterns and the various ways they can be disturbed will not only alter our view of mental illness and supernatural experience, but will also shed light on the hidden parts of ourselves.

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    NeuroLogic

    10.3 hrs • 1/12/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 5.6 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged

    Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human? In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the search for immortality. Strap in for a whistle-stop tour into the inner cosmos. In the infinitely dense tangle of billions of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see in there: you. This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life.

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    The Brain

    5.6 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 5.6 hrs • 8/28/2015 • Unabridged

    Adults who want to learn a foreign language are often discouraged because they believe they cannot acquire a language as easily as children. Once they begin to learn a language, students may be further discouraged when they find the methods used to teach children don’t seem to work for them. What is an adult language learner to do? In Becoming Fluent, Richard Roberts and Roger Kreuz draw on insights from psychology and cognitive science to show that adults can master a foreign language if they bring to bear the skills and knowledge they have honed over a lifetime. Adults shouldn’t try to learn as children do; they should learn like adults. Roberts and Kreuz report evidence that adults can learn new languages even more easily than children. Children appear to have only two advantages over adults in learning a language: they acquire a native accent more easily, and they do not suffer from self-defeating anxiety about learning a language. Adults, on the other hand, have the greater advantages—gained from experience—of an understanding of their own mental processes and knowing how to use language to do things. Adults have an especially advantageous grasp of pragmatics, the social use of language, and Roberts and Kreuz show how to leverage this metalinguistic ability in learning a new language. Learning a language takes effort. But if adult learners apply the tools acquired over a lifetime, it can be enjoyable and rewarding.

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    Becoming Fluent by Richard Roberts, Roger Kreuz

    Becoming Fluent

    5.6 hrs • 8/28/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    9.5 hrs • 8/4/2015 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of Oliver Sacks, a tour of the latest neuroscience of schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ecstatic epilepsy, Cotard’s syndrome, out-of-body experiences, and other disorders—revealing the awesome power of the human sense of self from a master of science journalismAnil Ananthaswamy’s extensive in-depth interviews venture into the lives of individuals who offer perspectives that will change how you think about who you are. These individuals all lost some part of what we think of as our self, but they then offer remarkable, sometimes heart-wrenching insights into what remains. One man cut off his own leg. Another became one with the universe.We are learning about the self at a level of detail that Descartes (“I think therefore I am”) could never have imagined. Recent research into Alzheimer’s illuminates how memory creates your narrative self by using the same part of your brain for your past as for your future. But wait, those afflicted with Cotard’s syndrome think they are already dead; in a way, they believe that “I think therefore I am not.” Who—or what—can say that? Neuroscience has identified specific regions of the brain that, when they misfire, can cause the self to move back and forth between the body and a doppelgänger, or to leave the body entirely. So where in the brain, or mind, or body, is the self actually located? As Ananthaswamy elegantly reports, neuroscientists themselves now see that the elusive sense of self is both everywhere and nowhere in the human brain.

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    The Man Who Wasn’t There

    9.5 hrs • 8/4/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.5 hrs • 6/30/2015 • Unabridged

    Explaining that an impaired capacity for connection to self and to others underlies most psychological and many physiological problems, clinicians Laurence Heller, PhD, and Aline LaPierre, PsyD, introduce the NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM), a unified approach to developmental, attachment, and shock trauma that emphasizes working in the present moment. NARM is a somatically based psychotherapy that helps bring into awareness the parts of self that are disorganized and dysfunctional without making the regressed, dysfunctional elements the primary theme of the therapy. It emphasizes a person’s strengths, capacities, resources, and resiliency and is a powerful tool for working with both nervous system regulation and distortions of identity such as low self-esteem, shame, and chronic self-judgment.

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  7. 6.0 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    A spirited, wry, and utterly original memoir about one woman’s struggle to make her way and set up a life after doctors discover a hole the size of a lemon in her brain. The summer before she was set to head out of state to pursue her MFA, twenty-six-year-old Cole Cohen submitted herself to a battery of tests. For as long as she could remember, she’d struggled with a series of learning disabilities that made it nearly impossible to judge time and space—standing at a crosswalk, she couldn’t tell you if an oncoming car would arrive in ten seconds or thirty; if you asked her to let you know when ten minutes had passed, she might notify you in a minute or an hour. These symptoms had always kept her from getting a driver’s license, which she wanted to have for grad school. Instead of leaving the doctor’s office with permission to drive, she left with a shocking diagnosis—doctors had found a large hole in her brain responsible for her lifelong struggles. Because there aren’t established tools to rely on in the wake of this unprecedented and mysterious diagnosis, Cole, her doctors, and her family create them and discover firsthand how best to navigate the unique world that Cole lives in. Told without an ounce of self-pity and plenty of charm and wit, Head Case is ultimately a story of triumph as we watch this passionate, lovable, and unsinkable young woman chart a path for herself.

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    Head Case

    6.0 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 13.1 hrs • 5/18/2015 • Unabridged

    In this optimistic and inspiring book, Peter Whybrow, the prize-winning author of American Mania, returns to offer a prescription for genuine human progress. The Well-Tuned Brain is a call to action. Swept along by the cascading advances of today’s technology, most of us take for granted that progress brings improvement. Despite spectacular material advance, however, the evidence grows that we are failing to create a sustainable future for humanity. We are out of tune with the planet that nurtures us. Technology itself is not the problem, as Whybrow explains, but rather our behavior. Throughout its evolution the ancient brain that guides us each day has been focused on short-term survival. But fortunately we are intensely social creatures. Without the caring behaviors that flow from intimate attachments to others, we would be relying on a brain that is only marginally adapted to the complexity of the problems we must now face together. Today we must grapple with survival, not in its immediacy but over the long term. The first step in finding our way forward is to reexamine who we are as creatures of this planet. To this end, Whybrow takes us on a fascinating tour of self-discovery, drawing extensively upon his decades of experience as a psychiatrist and his broad knowledge of neuroscience and human behavior. Illustrated throughout with engaging personal stories, the book’s trove of cutting-edge science is enriched by philosophical, historical, and cultural perspectives. What emerges is a summons to rediscover the essential virtues of earlier nurturing, of mentored education, and an engagement with the natural world through curiosity and imagination. Neuroscience can open the search for a better future. But technology alone will not save us. To achieve success we will need the strength and wisdom of our better nature as humane social beings.

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    The Well-Tuned Brain

    13.1 hrs • 5/18/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 9.8 hrs • 3/17/2015 • Unabridged

    An investigative reporter explores an infamous case where an obsessive and unorthodox search for enlightenment went terribly wrong. When thirty-eight-year-old Ian Thorson died from dehydration and dysentery on a remote Arizona mountaintop in 2012, the New York Times reported the story under the headline “Mysterious Buddhist Retreat in the Desert Ends in a Grisly Death.” Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for six years, was struck by how Thorson’s death echoed other incidents that reflected the little-talked-about connection between intensive meditation and mental instability. Using these tragedies as a springboard, Carney explores how those who go to extremes to achieve divine revelations—and undertake it in illusory ways—can tangle with madness. He also delves into the unorthodox interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism that attracted Thorson and the bizarre teachings of its chief evangelists: Thorson’s wife, Lama Christie McNally, and her previous husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the supreme spiritual leader of Diamond Mountain University, where Thorson died. Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable circumstances surrounding Thorson’s death illuminate a uniquely American tendency to mix and match eastern religious traditions like LEGO pieces—in a quest to reach an enlightened, perfected state, no matter the cost. Aided by Thorson’s private papers, along with cutting-edge neurological research that reveals the profound impact of intensive meditation on the brain, and stories of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A Death on Diamond Mountain is a gripping work of investigative journalism that reveals how the path to enlightenment can be riddled with danger.

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    A Death on Diamond Mountain

    9.8 hrs • 3/17/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 9.8 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    From alienists to mesmerists to shrinks: the fascinating story of psychiatry’s demise and redemption in the field of medicine, by the former president of the American Psychiatric Association. In Shrinks, Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, shares the story of psychiatry’s origins and the checkered history of useless or harmful treatments—including hydrotherapy, lobotomies, and primal screaming—to its rehabilitation and transformation into an evidence-based profession. A gripping and illuminating read, Shrinks reveals shocking case studies and serves as an urgent call to arms to start treating mental illness as a disease rather than a state of mind.

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    Shrinks

    9.8 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    9.8 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    The fascinating story of psychiatry’s origins, demise, and redemption, by the former president of the American Psychiatric Association Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining “lunatics” in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for “the black sheep of medicine” has been anything but smooth. In Shrinks, Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of “shrinks” to its late blooming maturity—beginning after World War II—as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field—from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel—Shrinks is a gripping and illuminating read and an urgent call to arms to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses by treating them as diseases rather than unfortunate states of mind.

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    Shrinks

    By Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, withOgi Ogas
    9.8 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 6.1 hrs • 1/29/2015 • Unabridged

    David J. Linden, a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist and the bestselling author of The Compass of Pleasure, presents an engaging and fascinating examination of how the interface between our sense of touch and our emotional responses affects our social interactions as well as our general health and development. Accessible in its wit and clarity, Touch explores scientific advances in the understanding of touch that help explain our sense of self and our experience of the world. From skin to nerves to brain, the organization of the body’s touch circuits powerfully influences our lives—affecting everything from consumer choice to sexual intercourse, tool use to the origins of language, chronic pain to healing. Interpersonal touch is crucial to social bonding and individual development. Linden lucidly explains how sensory and emotional context work together to distinguish between perceptions of what feels good and what feels bad. Linking biology and behavioral science, Linden offers an entertaining and enlightening answer to how we feel in every sense of the word.

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    Touch

    6.1 hrs • 1/29/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 14.5 hrs • 1/27/2015 • Unabridged

    In his first book, The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge describes the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience—what we call neuroplasticity. His revolutionary new book shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. It describes natural, non-invasive avenues into the brain provided by the forms of energy around us—light, sound, vibration, and movement—which pass through our senses and our bodies to awaken the brain’s own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated years of chronic pain or recovered from debilitating diseases, improved disorders, and other near-miracle recoveries. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia with simple approaches anyone can use. For centuries it was believed that the brain’s complexity prevented recovery from damage or illness. The Brain’s Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present exciting, cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain’s performance and health.

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    The Brain’s Way of Healing

    14.5 hrs • 1/27/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 8.0 hrs • 1/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Are you chained to your addiction to smoking? Drinking? Sugar? Drugs? Food? Prescription painkillers? Caffeine? Internet porn? Gambling? Sex? When you are chained by an addiction, it can ruin your life, devastate your family, destroy your relationships, derail your career, lower your grades, and make you physically ill. Do you want to break free from your addictions? If so, you need to optimize your brain. The brain plays a central role in your vulnerability to addiction and your ability to recover. Brain dysfunction is the number one reason people fall victim to addiction, why they can’t break the chains of addiction, and why they relapse. Unchain Your Brain: 10 Steps to Breaking the Addictions That Steal Your Life is a practical, easy-to-follow step-by-step program that shows you how to boost your brain so you can kick your bad habits. In this book, you will discover how addictions get stuck in your brain, how to get them unstuck, and how to find lasting motivation to change; why brain imaging changes everything, even if you never get a scan; how to get the right evaluation to ensure that you can heal from your addictions; the six different types of addiction based on brain types, why all addicts are not the same, and how to find the best treatment solutions for you based on your brain type; strategies to boost your brain to get control; ways to lock up the craving monster that steals your life; tips to eat right so you can think right and heal from your addiction; how to kill the addiction ANTs that infest your brain and keep you in chains; ways to prevent relapse by following H-A-L-T plus brain science; and how hypnosis and meditation can help you unchain your brain, including a twelve-minute meditation and a real hypnosis session done by Dr. Amen. When you have a healthy brain, it makes it so much easier to stick with a program designed to help you quit smoking, drinking, gambling, doing drugs, overeating, or whatever your addiction may be.

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    Unchain Your Brain by Daniel G. Amen, MD, David E. Smith, MD

    Unchain Your Brain

    Directed by Claire Bloom
    8.0 hrs • 1/20/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 6.0 hrs • 11/10/2014 • Unabridged

    Have you ever had an experience where you felt particularly aware of God? If God is real and we are created in God’s image, then it makes sense that our minds and bodies would be designed with the perceptive ability to sense and experience God. Scientists are now discovering ways that our bodies are designed to connect with God. Research shows that our brain systems are wired to enable us to have spiritual experiences. The spiritual circuits that are used in prayer or worship are also involved in developing compassion for others. Our bodies have actually been created to love God and serve our neighbors. Award-winning journalist Rob Moll chronicles the fascinating ways in which our brains and bodies interact with God and spiritual realities. He reports on neuroscience findings that show how our brains actually change and adapt when engaged in spiritual practices. We live longer, healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives when we cultivate the biological spiritual capacity that puts us in touch with God. God has created our bodies to fulfill the Great Commandment; we are hardwired to commune with God and to have compassion and community with other people. Moll explores the neuroscience of prayer, how liturgy helps us worship, why loving God causes us to love others, and how a life of love and service leads to the abundant life for which we were created. Just as our physical bodies require exercise to stay healthy, so too can spiritual exercises and practices revitalize our awareness of God. Heighten your spiritual senses and discover how you have been designed for physical and spiritual flourishing.

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    What Your Body Knows about God by Rob Moll

    What Your Body Knows about God

    Foreword by Michael Card
    Read by Adam Verner
    6.0 hrs • 11/10/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.7 hrs • 7/16/2014 • Unabridged

    Both a revelatory work of modern science and a practical guide for listeners to enhance their physical and emotional health, How God Changes Your Brain is a first-of-a-kind book about faith that is as credible as it is inspiring.

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