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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding the Brain


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Table of Contents

I. THE FIRST BRAIN. 1. It All Starts Here. Nature's Marvel. The Baby Brain. You Were Smarter As a Kid. Assembly Not Required. The Specialists. Daily Revelations. The Great Unknown. 2. From Stone Age to Sculptors. Prehistoric Brain Surgery. Mummies Weren't Too Bright. The Great Greeks. Science Takes a Holiday. From Darkness to Light. A Form of Barbarism. 3. Knowledge of the Brain Evolves. I Think Therefore! A Place in the Heart. Out of Sight. What Do You See? Quack, Quack. You're Electric. Oops! I Mean, Eureka! Finding the Controls. Pavlov's Dogs. We're All Scientists Here. Finding the Bugs. An Engaging Case. "The Book That Shook the World". Real Brain Surgery. Restricted Area. The Century's Crazy End. 4. "Modern Thinking". Sex, Dreams, and Psychoanalysis. Mind Matters. I'm a Surgeon, Neurosurgeon. Controversial Cures. New Tools for the Trade. Your Own Painkiller. Decade of the Brain. II. ANATOMY 101. 5. The Commander-in-Chief. Your Hard Hat and Other Protective Devices. The Thinking Part. Multiple Brains. Small but Important. 6. The Coordinator. Lobes: They're Not Just for the Ears. Walking a Straight Line. Not Really the Middle. At the Base of It All. Remembering the Limbic System. The Glands Have It. 7. The Real Information Superhighway. Thinking Systematically. 100 Billion Cells Can't Be Wrong. Closing the Gap. Now for the Hard Part. 8. You've Got Nerve(s). What's Your Function? Numero Uno. For Your Eyes Only. A Sensitive Face. Testing 1, 2, 3! Gulp and Inhale. Stick Out Your Tongue. III. THE HUMAN COMPUTER. 9. Speak Now! The Origin of Babble. From the Mouths of Babes. Back to Broca and Wernicke. The ABCs. Say What You Hear. 10. Making Sense of It All. Mind's Eye. An Ear for It. On the Scent. Yum and Yuck. How Touching. The Sixth Sense: More Than a Movie. 11. Life's Necessities. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. Sweet Slumber. Sex Is a Drive. 12. The Body's Autopilot. Your Internal Thermostat. Energize! Stressed Out. The Conservationist. Knee-Jerk Reactions. Holding It. Really Letting Go. 13. It's Your Choice. On Balance. More Than Five Senses. Turning Green. The Pyramids. Penfield's Map. Put the Hammer Down. Now Draw! From Physical to Mental. IV. ACTING OUT. 14. Blackboard of the Mind. Memories! Hidden Messages. Pigeonholes. Time to Decide. Drawing a Blank. Going, Going, Gone. Bulking up Memory. Eat Smart. Try to Remember! 15. The Feeling Brain. Feelings First? Going Ballistic. Oh Happy Day. The Prickly Things on Your Neck. Life-Changing Stress. Lie Detector. Emotional Intelligence. 16. You've Got Brain. What Is Intelligence? How Smart Are You? What's Your Gift? Low IQ. The Real Rain Man. Size Matters. Two Brains Are Better! Da Vinci, Mozart, and You. Einstein's Brain. The 10 Percent Myth. Mad Genius. Formula for Thought. V. THE SICK BRAIN. 17. The Computer Crashes. Trauma: More Than a Little Bump. Two Scary Words: Brain Tumor. Catching a Brain Disease. Hereditary Degenerative Diseases. Congenital Anomalies. Brain Attack. Brain Death. 18. Headaches and Neurological Disorders. Your Aching Head. Trigeminal Neuralgia. Cerebral Palsy. Parkinson's Disease. Dudley's Disease. Epilepsy. Multiple Sclerosis. Alzheimer's Disease. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. Mad Cow Disease. Tics and Tones. Facing the Fear. 19. Drugs and Demons. Society's Problem. Alcoholism. Nicotine. Marijuana. Cocaine. Heroin. Hallucinogens. Uppers and Downers. The "Date Rape Drug". 20. Crossed Wiring. It's All in Your Head. From Behind Closed Doors. No Shortage of Disorders. Psychosis and Schizophrenia. Anxiety. Phobias. Beyond the Blues. Bipolar Disorder. Autism. ADHD. VI. TREATMENT (COUCHES, SHOCKS, PILLS, AND THE KNIFE). 21. Say "Ahh!" Getting to Know You. A Stab in the Back. How Electrifying. Checking Your Potentials. Waves Don't Lie. Take a Little Piece. A Bunch of "Ographies". Scans Galore. 22. Trick or Treatment. Better Living Through Chemistry. The Placebo Effect. Let's Talk. Off With Your Brain. Under the Knife. Brain Tumors. Cerebral Aneurysms and Arteriovenous Malformations. Stroke. Treatments vs. Cures. 23. We're Getting Smarter. Mistaken Science. Genius for Genes. Ethical Dilemmas of Modern Science. From the Stem. Hello Dolly! Deep Blue. A New Brain? From Our Brains to Yours. VII. APPENDIXES. Appendix A. Glossary. Appendix B. Food for the Brain: Resources. Appendix C. Test Your IQ. Index.

About the Author

Arthur S. Bard, M.D., is the former chief of the neurosurgery section of Mercy and Sutter Hospitals (and a staff neurosurgeon for 30 years) and a past president of the Sacramento (CA) Neurological Society. He was an assistant clinical professor at UC Davis Medical Center for 25 years. Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D., is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide(R) to World War II and The Complete Idiot's Guide(R) to the Middle East Conflict.

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