The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

The author of the bestseller The Disappearing Spoon reveals the secret inner workings of the brain through strange but true stories. Early studies of the human brain used a simple method: wait for misfortune to strike -- strokes, seizures, infectious diseases, horrendous accidents -- and see how victims coped. In many cases their survival was miraculous, if puzzling. Observers were amazed by the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed, altering victims' personalities. Parents suddenly couldn't recognize their own children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing. In The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean travels through time with stories of neurological curiosities: phantom limbs, Siamese twin brains, viruses that eat patients' memories, blind people who see through their tongues. He weaves these narratives together with prose that makes the pages fly by, to create a story of discovery that reaches back to the 1500s and the high-profile jousting accident that inspired this book's title.* With the lucid, masterful explanations and razor-sharp wit his fans have come to expect, Kean explores the brain's secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary people whose struggles, resilience, and deep humanity made neuroscience possible. *"The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons" refers to the case of French king Henri II, who in 1559 was lanced through the skull during a joust, resulting in one of the most significant cases in neuroscience history. For hundreds of years scientists have gained important lessons from traumatic accidents and illnesses, and such misfortunes still represent their greatest resource for discovery.

The Tale of the Duelling Neurosurgeons

The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

The Tale of the Duelling Neurosurgeons

For centuries, scientists had only one way to study the brain: wait for misfortune to strike - strokes, seizures, infections, lobotomies, horrendous accidents, phantom limbs, Siamese twins - and see how the victims changed afterwards. In many cases their survival was miraculous, and observers marvelled at the transformations that took place when different parts of the brain were destroyed. Parents suddenly couldn't recognise their children. Pillars of the community became pathological liars and paedophiles. Some people couldn't speak but could still sing. Others couldn't read but could write. The stories of these people laid the foundations of modern neuroscience and, century by century, key cases taught scientists what every last region of the brain did. With lucid explanations and incisive wit, Sam Kean explores the brain's secret passageways and recounts the forgotten tales of the ordinary individuals whose struggles, resilience and deep humanity made neuroscience possible.

The Disintegrating Self

Psychotherapy of Adult ADHD, Autistic Spectrum, and Somato-psychic Disorders

The Disintegrating Self

Many psychotherapy clients have (undiagnosed) traits within the ADHD and autistic spectrums - two constellations of the "mistuned brain" that often overlap. The essence of ADHD is emotional dysregulation, and the sufferer displays enhanced needs for egosupportive responses from others, as he or she struggles with storms of affect, especially rage and anxiety, impulsivity, deficits in executive functioning, and attentional problems. It is often a hidden core within what is otherwise perceived as borderline or emotionally unstable personality disorder. Autistic spectrum traits, which often coexist with ADHD, are similarly brain-based, associated with intense but unintegrated experience, inflexibility, and a range of efforts to cope with potentially overwhelming emotions and anxieties. The author, a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist with forty years clinical experience, presents a wide-ranging discussion of these disorders, exploring psychoanalytic, neurobiological and psycho-energetic perspectives. He describes how the classical Freudian model, combined with Kohut's self-psychology, provides a sound basis for effective therapy with clients whose self is under continual threat of disintegration.

Young Adult Nonfiction

Gateway to the Common Core

Young Adult Nonfiction

No matter the location, schools are guided by standards, including Common Core State Standards. This collection of contributions by some of the country’s leading literacy experts offers practical suggestions for implementing young adult literature to meet the demand that standards mandate for focusing on nonfiction in teaching literacy.

Neuroscience, Selflessness, and Spiritual Experience

Explaining the Science of Transcendence

Neuroscience, Selflessness, and Spiritual Experience

Neuroscience, Selflessness, and Spiritual Transcendence conveys the manner by which selflessness serves as a neuropsychological and religious foundation for spiritually transcendent experiences. The book combines neurological case studies and neuroscience research with religious accounts of transcendence experiences from the perspective of both the neurosciences and the history of religions. Chapters cover the subjective experience of transcendence, an historical summary of different philosophical and religious perspectives, a review of the neuroscience research that describes the manner by which the brain processes and creates a self, and more. The book presents a model that bridges the divide between neuroscience and religion, presenting a resource that will be critical reading for advanced students and researchers in both fields. Creates a common focus on selflessness as a reliable construct for use by all disciplines interested in the basis of spiritual experience Links neuroanatomical data with religious texts from multiple faith traditions to describe the necessity of selflessness for spiritual experience and transformation Highlights disorders in neurological functioning that result in disorders of the self

Home Baked

My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco

Home Baked

A blazingly funny, heartfelt memoir from the daughter of the larger-than-life woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that distributed thousands of marijuana brownies per month and helped provide medical marijuana to AIDS patients in San Francisco—for fans of Armistead Maupin and Patricia Lockwood During the '70s in San Francisco, Alia's mother ran the underground Sticky Fingers Brownies, delivering upwards of 10,000 illegal marijuana edibles per month throughout the circus-like atmosphere of a city in the throes of major change. She exchanged psychic readings with Alia's future father, and thereafter had a partner in business and life. Decades before cannabusiness went mainstream, when marijuana was as illicit as heroin, they ingeniously hid themselves in plain sight, parading through town—and through the scenes and upheavals of the day, from Gay Liberation to the tragedy of the Peoples Temple—in bright and elaborate outfits, the goods wrapped in hand-designed packaging and tucked into Alia's stroller. But the stars were not aligned forever and, after leaving the city and a shoulda-seen-it-coming divorce, Alia and her mom returned to San Francisco in the mid-80s, this time using Sticky Fingers' distribution channels to provide medical marijuana to friends and former customers now suffering the depredations of AIDS. Exhilarating, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreaking, Home Baked celebrates an eccentric and remarkable extended family, taking us through love, loss, and finding home.