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Download The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God (Unabridged) Audiobook, by David J. Linden
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (312 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David J. Linden Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: University Press Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN:
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You've probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain's elegant design in reverent tones... to which this book says: Pure nonsense.

In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is a paragon of design - and in its place gives us a compelling explanation of how the brain's serendipitous evolution has resulted in nothing short of our humanity.

A guide to the strange and often illogical world of neural function, The Accidental Mind shows how the brain is not an optimized, general-purpose problem-solving machine, but rather a weird agglomeration of ad-hoc solutions that have been piled on through millions of years of evolutionary history.

Moreover, Linden tells us how the constraints of evolved brain design have ultimately led to almost every transcendent human foible: our long childhoods, our extensive memory capacity, our search for love and long-term relationships, our need to create compelling narrative, and, ultimately, the universal cultural impulse to create both religious and scientific explanations. With forays into evolutionary biology, this analysis of mental function answers some of our most common questions about how we've come to be who we are. The book is published by Harvard University Press.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlene | 2/14/2014

    " I didn't love his section on gender and the brain. However, everything else was spectacular. This may be one of my favorite nonfiction science books of all time. Without a doubt, it is most interesting book on the topic of neuroscience that I have seen. Chapters one and two alone were worth the 5 star rating. From the tiniest processes to the large overall picture, Linden puts what we know about neuroscience together in the best possible way. If you remotely like brain science or evolution, you will love this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karthiik | 2/14/2014

    " Too technical for my taste. Quit reading it.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Toker | 2/9/2014

    " A great, not-to-easy but not-too-technical introduction to neuroscience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kurt | 2/9/2014

    " The brain is a kludge, but an amazing one. This is a good book for anyone wanting to understand more about how the brain works (and doesn't work). There is also a good section for anyone trying to claim we are intelligently designed -- especially if in their ignorance they use the human brain as one of their examples. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 1/25/2014

    " Good, concise introduction to the topic, aimed at the lay reader but with some hard science thrown in. (If the hardcore biochemistry sections go over your head, that's okay -- they're easy to skip without losing the gist of the discussion.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pancha | 1/12/2014

    " I don't think I'm going to finish this one. I'm having trouble putting my finger on exactly what it is about this book that fails to keep my attention, but I think it's that the information feels a little too dumbed down. The Other Brain doesn't cover the same territory as this book, but it is a much more interesting look at the brain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 12/25/2013

    " Great book! Highly recommend for anyone interested in current brain science (neurology), and what we current scientific community knows (and doesn't know) about how our brains work, presented to the reader in a very easy to understand method. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 12/12/2013

    " Good... technical and insightful. I'll need to read it twice to really understand it but I'm amazed by all I've learned about the human brain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Kate | 10/8/2013

    " I'm about to start skimming this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 8/23/2013

    " Very enjoyable book about the human brain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mai | 7/9/2013

    " This book is amazing. It explains all the interesting things about the brain, like differences between gender, why sleep is important, how personality works, etc. It isn't molecule-free, but it doesn't alienate people without a science background, either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 12/26/2012

    " Some good information. Could have been a much better book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 11/29/2012

    " Neuroscience for the masses. Not a whole lot of new material if you've read a lot on the subject, but it's entertaining and the narrator is quite good - this got me looking forward to my commute for the duration of the audiobook. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Armando Aburto | 10/6/2012

    " This book gives us the tools to face physical characters that denote psychological aspects. It is interesting and revealing "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle Wild | 9/19/2012

    " Loved the content and premise. Prose passable at best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tonya | 7/16/2012

    " Very interesting book for mild Psych geeks like myself! Linden makes even the most technical aspects of brain function really easy to understand without sounding totally dumbed-down. Who knew evolutionary biology could be so interesting?!?! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip Hamrick | 7/9/2011

    " Even if you know nothing about neurobiology (and I don't know much), this is a fantastic, informative read. Most importantly, it is one of the most well-written books I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moira | 5/10/2011

    " Really enjoyed this and learned a lot. Have it on hold again to re-read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 3/22/2011

    " Loved the content and premise. Prose passable at best. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karthiik | 1/26/2011

    " Too technical for my taste. Quit reading it.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 9/7/2010

    " A great, not-to-easy but not-too-technical introduction to neuroscience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pegcart | 6/14/2010

    " Fascinating explanation of what is known (by 2007)about how the brain works and how that impacts our humanity "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 6/8/2010

    " Good... technical and insightful. I'll need to read it twice to really understand it but I'm amazed by all I've learned about the human brain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 7/1/2009

    " This was a very fun read for the dork in me but I don't think it's the easy to understand guide to the brain that it's touted to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tonya | 12/2/2008

    " Very interesting book for mild Psych geeks like myself! Linden makes even the most technical aspects of brain function really easy to understand without sounding totally dumbed-down. Who knew evolutionary biology could be so interesting?!?! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip | 6/25/2008

    " Even if you know nothing about neurobiology (and I don't know much), this is a fantastic, informative read. Most importantly, it is one of the most well-written books I've ever read. "

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About the Author
Author David J. Linden

David J. Linden is a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the New York Times bestselling author of The Compass of Pleasure and The Accidental Mind. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his two children.

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.