What is happening in the brain when we drink too much alcohol, get high on ecstacy or experience road rage? During intense emotion, we can literally lose our minds, returning to the mental state we experienced as infants. This book seeks to discover how our unique sense of self is created.
With great originality, celebrated neuroscientist Susan A. Greenfield shows that states of abandon - intensely felt experiences of pleasure, exhilaration, joy and pain - in fact draw us to the centre of the mind. Between emotion and the mind there is no dichotomy, but rather a continuum in which we create the self. With passion and learning, Susan Greenfield addresses the most fascinating aspects of contemporary neuroscience, revealing exactly what happens to the brain when we are in the throes of an intense experience. How do drugs act on the brain? How might an understanding of the science of emotion help us better understand schizophrenia and depression? What is the relationship between pleasure and fear? Why is it impossible to maintain a state of high arousal for more than a brief period? Challenging a series of common assumptions about the relationship between emotion and the brain, Susan Greenfield finally asks whether "mind-blowing" experiences might in fact form the basis of consciousness. Informed by the most recent neuroscience, "The Private Life of the Brain" develops new models with which to answer these questions.
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