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An alchemy of mind : the marvel and mystery of the brain

Author: Diane Ackerman
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The most ambitious and enlightening work to date from the bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses, An Alchemy of Mind combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate, as never before, the magic and mysteries of the human mind. Long treasured by literary readers for her uncommon ability to bridge the gap between art and science, celebrated scholar-artist Diane Ackerman returns with  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Creative nonfiction
Popular works
Popular Works
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Diane Ackerman
ISBN: 0743246721 9780743246729
OCLC Number: 54006936
Description: xii, 300 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Miracle waters (Evolution): The enchanted loom --
This island earth --
Why we ask why? --
The fibs of being --
Light breaks where no sun shines --
Sweet dreams of reason (The physical brain): The shape of thought --
Inner space --
Attention please --
A passion for patterns --
In the church of the pines --
Einstein's brain --
The mind's eye --
Pavilions of desire (Memory): What is a memory? --
Reflections in a gazing ball --
Remember what? --
Remember, I dream --
Hello, he lied --
Traumatic memories --
Smell, memory, and the erotic --
Never a dull moment (The self, and other fictions): Introducing the self --
The other self --
Personality --
Shall it be male of female? Say the cells --
Creating minds --
The world is breaking someone else's heart (Emotions): The emotional climate --
The pursuit of happiness --
The color of saying (Language): Memory's accomplice --
Metaphors be with you --
The color of saying --
Shakespeare on the brain --
The wilderness within (The world we share): Oasis --
Conscience and consciousness --
A kingdom of neighbors --
The beautiful captive.
Responsibility: Diane Ackerman.
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Abstract:

The most ambitious and enlightening work to date from the bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses, An Alchemy of Mind combines an artist's eye with a scientist's erudition to illuminate, as never before, the magic and mysteries of the human mind. Long treasured by literary readers for her uncommon ability to bridge the gap between art and science, celebrated scholar-artist Diane Ackerman returns with the book she was born to write. Her dazzling new work, An Alchemy of Mind, offers an unprecedented exploration and celebration of the mental fantasia in which we spend our days -- and does for the human mind what the bestselling A Natural History of the Senses did for the physical senses. Bringing a valuable female perspective to the topic, Diane Ackerman discusses the science of the brain as only she can: with gorgeous, immediate language and imagery that paint an unusually lucid and vibrant picture for the reader. And in addition to explaining memory, thought, emotion, dreams, and language acquisition, she reports on the latest discoveries in neuroscience and addresses controversial subjects like the effects of trauma and male versus female brains. In prose that is not simply accessible but also beautiful and electric, Ackerman distills the hard, objective truths of science in order to yield vivid, heavily anecdotal explanations about a range of existential questions regarding consciousness, human thought, memory, and the nature of identity.

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