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Download Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Antonio Damasio
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (425 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Antonio Damasio Narrator: Fred Stella Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN:
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Self Comes to Mind is a nuanced and original chronicle of the evolution of the human brain. It reveals how the brain's development of a self becomes a challenge to nature's indifference and opens the way for the appearance of culture, a radical break in the course of evolution.

Damasio views brain development through the lens of biological evolution - starting with the simplest organisms that exhibit elaborate life regulation devices but do not require brains. The arrival of neurons, possessed of the unique ability to transmit and receive messages, allows neurons to organize themselves in complex circuits and networks, networks that serve to represent events occurring in the body, influence the function of other cells, even their own function. In this framework, the distinction between body and brain is blurred - the neurons that make up the brain and eventually generate the mind are body cells and are perpetually connected to the body.

Neurons are the producers of mind states. And in the increasing complexity of the patterns in which neurons organize themselves is to be found at once the mystery and the clues to the myriad ways in which the brain operates.

The systems of neurons that govern life in the interior of a body - the process of homeostasis - are first assisted by reflex-like dispositions, and eventually by images, the basic ingredient of minds. But the flexibility and creativity of the human mind do not emerge from images alone. They require images to create a protagonist, a self capable of reflection. Once self comes to mind, the devices of reward and punishment, drives and motivations, and emotions can be controlled by an autobiographical self, capable of personal reflection and deliberation. The reflective self becomes a rebellious apprentice to nature's indifferent sorcerer. It uses expanded memory, language, and reasoning to create the very possibility of culture.

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tammy Crompton | 2/18/2014

    " Tought it would be interesting, writing felt like a repetitive boring textbook. Was disappointed "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 2/12/2014

    " Damasio addresses the age-old philosophical question of where the self resides, and where it comes from. Do we have something called a "soul" that is immaterial, and different from our physical beings? If not, where does the sense of self come from, and how does it differ from that of a sea slug, or a squirrel? Damasio spends a good deal of time very carefully building his "brief," like a lawyer, that if you put enough mental functions together, the vast majority of which we share with the rest of the animals, you get a sense of self -- self coming to mind, in fact. If in the end you're not entirely persuaded, it's because you're remembering other evidence from other books, or experiences. Damasio's case is compelling, lucid, and shrewd, but it won't satisfy anyone who thinks he has a soul. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julyo Photosonic | 2/6/2014

    " So far one of the best books of 2012, truly inspiring and beautifully written. Right next to my old time fav 'Second Nature' by G. Edelman "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jess | 2/5/2014

    " don't get the audio book it will put you to sleep. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 2/3/2014

    " i'm fascinated with all things being found out about neurological research. the brain is complex and the research tools are sophisticated; consequently, the knowledge being gathered is fascinating. but i remain a lay person. i hardly know all the terms that can be applied to the different sections of the brain and the way the brain operates. add in the concepts of self and of consciousness and i'm really a babe in the woods. a keenly interested babe but still far from knowing what i'm reading. so with this book, i suspect i was operating at about a 27% comprehension level and whereas that might seem like a not-worth-it effort, it was. i absorbed "more" knowledge and am glad for it. the book is very well organized although the technical terms used kept me from grasping more even as they added gravitas to the book's point of view. i especially appreciated damasio's perspective that consciousness and self begin in the body and not in the mind. the mapping onto the brain of our experiences was another aspect of this book that i sensed was well done. more to learn ... yes of course. and this book, although beyond me, gave me a list of thoughts and terms that i am glad for. a very thorough job of writing about "self" coming to mind/existence. i cannot recommend or not recommend this book. you will have to try it if you are interested and get through it as best you can being glad for the bits of information and understanding the well written book presents. do with it what you can. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arthur Wiggins | 1/19/2014

    " So far, it is an intriguing book. Fascinating material, well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Collver | 1/14/2014

    " Would like more time to study in depth, fascinating thoughts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arttu | 12/30/2013

    " Interesting book, but hard to grasp at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Norman Orr | 12/23/2013

    " As usual, Damasio writes clearly, concisely and illuminatingly about a complex, important aspect of human existence, with bits of humor and self-revelation scattered about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 DragonRider | 12/18/2013

    " This is absolutely my favorite book on consciousness. I am re-reading it for Louisville Science and Philosophy Book Club which meets again on Sunday, June 17. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lena | 11/24/2013

    " Fantastic. Totally changed my perspective on the self. Damasio not only has excellent explanations and concretely founded theories, but compelling conclusions and insightful questions for future research. I will definitely be keeping up with his writing and study. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josiah | 11/5/2012

    " I think I'm less on board this new brain craze than off it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 marcali | 8/25/2012

    " dense (fair warning--possibly frustrating for fast/skim readers) but worth the pursuit (& reflection). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BLACK CAT | 6/10/2012

    " A tour of the the senses and emotions and their relationship with consciousness and the self from the neurological point of view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 11/27/2011

    " Surprisingly accessible, despite being primarily focused on examining consciousness and constructions of the "Self" in terms of neuroscience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pzikmanis | 9/16/2011

    " Good, but a tough read. "

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About the Narrator

Fred Stella has worked as an actor and voice talent in radio, television, independent films, and audiobooks. He was awarded the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award for Best Male Narration in 2002. He is on the adjunct faculty staff of Muskegon Community College.