- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (March 27 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780684836591
- ISBN-13: 978-0684836591
- ASIN: 0684836599
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life Paperback – Mar 27 1998
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"Joseph LeDoux is a superb guide to that ultimate frontier in understanding our emotional life, the brain."
-- Daniel Goldman, author of Emotional Intelligence
"The Emotional Brain is an excellent introduction to the strange history of the neurobiology of emotion and a preview of what lies ahead."
-- Antonio R. Damasio, Scientific American
"Engrossing and engaging..."
-- Richard Restak, The New York Times Book Review
"Highly accessible...LeDoux's musical and literary references reveal a man clearly in touch with his own emotional feelings. All said, The Emotional Brain is a stimulating and thoughtful work and is essential reading for any serious student of human emotion."
-- Raymond J. Dolan, Nature
"[The Emotional Brain] is vivid and convincing in its description of the central mechanisms of emotion, and is directly applicable to understanding anxiety, the most common ingredient of emotional disorders. It's a terrifically good book."
-- Keith Oatley, New Scientist
About the Author
Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science in the Center for Neural Science at New York University. He has been awarded both a Merit Award and a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. He lives in New York City.
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My only criticism of the textual content is of LeDoux's statement (p. 259), apparently based on observations by Wolpe, that hyperventilation during a panic attack "increases the carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood and results in a variety of unpleasant bodily sensations...." Indeed hyperventilation can and does produce unpleasant bodily sensations. If sustained long enough it can actually cause the subject to faint--and therefore stop the hyperventilation unless it arises from a metabolic condition. It does so, however, by decreasing the blood CO2 and producing an alkalosis.
I found this book to be quite accessible, even to the lay person. LeDoux writes with humor and, although detailed, he brings the information into focus with everyday examples that make the reading interesting. Should be required reading for all clinicians, especially Music Therapists!
I had to push myself to read the first half of the book , which is essentially a literature review of how psychologists and neurologists historically viewed emotions. Having doggedly pushed though, I'm glad I did. And anyway, now I know what a bear does in the woods....
As a lover of neurology, and seriously interested in sensory defensiveness, this book gives a clear description of the fear/defense pathway, and how hypervigilance works in the body- both on a detailed chemistry level, and on a more macro how it looks in a person level (anxiety attacks, phobias- and I will add - supreme sensitivity to touch/noise/smell/gravity).
For those more interested in emotions in general, he makes a good point about how there are likely parallel pathways for each different emotion, not just a single emotional center. LeDoux makes a clear case for how rational memory is totally distinct from emotional memory and how this affects our reactions to things.
He also gives the absolute best list of factors for what is needed altogether to make up an emotion- esp. including the visceral reactions (no thumpety thumps, then you are NOT in love!) I'll never look at the amygdala in quite the same way.
The author dwelves on the circuits in mind that allow us to connect our emotions with certain stimulations, especially in what relates to fear.
This is a fantastic book, but I have to agree that you must know something about brain anatomy to get the full information from it...!
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