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Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain
Winner of the CORINE International Book Award 2011
From one of the most important neuroscientists at work today, a path-breaking investigation of a question that has confounded neurologists, philosophers, cognitive scientists and psychologists for centuries: how is consciousness created?
Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years studying and writing about how the brain operates, and his work has garnered acclaim for its singular melding of the scientific and the humanistic. In Self Comes to Mind, he goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is somehow separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness - what we think of as a mind with a self - is in fact a biological process created by a living organism.
The result is a groundbreaking investigative journey into the neurobiological foundations of mind and self.
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Awareness may be mostly mystery, but Damasio shapes its hints and glimmerings into an imaginative, informed narrative - Kirkus
The marvel of reading Damasio's book is to be convinced one can follow the brain at work as it makes the private reality that is the deepest self - V. S. Naipaul
Damasio's most ambitious work yet. It is a lucid and important work - Word
The epicenter of Self Comes to Mind concerns the neurological basis for cognition and the issue of the superposition of a 'self' onto the construct which we address as reality. Damasio is both eloquent and scholarly. His command of the themes he approaches is impressive, as is the vigor with which he tackles such recondite issues as the elusive 'self,' inside the head. A wonderful read, and a recommended one! - Rodolfo R. Llinás, New York University
In this astonishing work, Antonio Damasio puts his years of investigation into the processes of the brain to open the impenetrable mysteries of self and mind, where all the contradictions of human experience unite in the ultimate unknown, consciousness. - Peter Brook, theater and film director and author of The Empty Space and Threads of Time.
Self Comes to Mind is often an exhilarating read. Not unlike Carl Sagan, Damasio is clearly excited by the findings he describes, and the thrill of discovery shines through his fine, clear prose - Tom Jacobs
I was totally captivated by Self Comes to Mind.In this work Antonio Damasio presents his seminal discoveries in the field of neuroscience in the broader contexts of evolutionary biology and cultural development.This trailblazing book gives us a new way of thinking about ourselves, our history, and the importance of culture in shaping our common future - Yo-Yo Ma, Musician
Damasio makes a grand transition from higher-brain views of emotions to deeply evolutionary, lower-brain contributions to emotional, sensory and homeostatic experiences. He affirms that the roots of consciousness are affective and shared by our fellow animals. Damasio's creative vision leads relentlessly toward a natural understanding of the very font of being - Jaak Panksepp, author of Affective Neuroscience
Lucid, elegantly written, and punctuated by humour... This is an exciting book by a wonderful thinker - Siri Hustvedt
ANTONIO DAMASIO is University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Neurology, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. Damasio's other books include Descartes' Error; The Feeling of What Happens; and Looking for Spinoza. He has received the Honda Prize, the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, and, shared with his wife Hanna, the Pessoa, Signoret, and Cozzarelli prizes. Damasio is a fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He lives in Los Angeles.