The Soul in the Brain: The Cerebral Basis of Language, Art, and Belief

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JHU Press, 17.04.2007 - 290 Seiten

In this provocative study, Michael R. Trimble, M.D., tackles the interrelationship between brain function, language, art—especially music and poetry—and religion. By examining the breakdown of language in several neuropsychiatric disorders, he identifies brain circuits that are involved with metaphor, poetry, music, and religious experiences. Drawing on this body of evidence, Trimble argues that religious experiences and beliefs are explicable biologically and relate to brain function, especially of the nondominant hemisphere.

Inspired by the writings and reflections of his patients—many of whom have epilepsy, psychosis, or affective disorders—Trimble asks how the human species, so enamored of its own logic and critical facilities, has held from the dawn of civilization strong religious beliefs and a reverence for the arts. He explores topics such as the phenomena of hypergraphia and hyper-religiosity, how religious experiences and poetic expression are neurologically linked with our capacity to respond to music, and how neuropsychiatric disorders influence behaviors related to artistic expression and religiosity by disturbing brain function.

With the sensitivity of a dedicated doctor and the curiosity of an accomplished scholar, Trimble offers an insightful analysis of how the study of people with paradigmatical neuropsychiatric conditions can be the cornerstone to unraveling some of the mysteries of the cerebral representations of our highest cultural experiences.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - selfunreflecting - LibraryThing

For such broad themes this book is rather short. Trimble gives only a cursory overview of everything, and his use of language falls flat. I found myself re-reading many paragraphs because of their ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Introduction
1
1 Where Did It All Begin?
8
2 The Neuroanatomy of Emotion
25
3 Language and the Human Brain
56
4 The Other Way of Using Language
72
5 The Breakdown of Language
95
6 Music and the Brain
119
Epilepsy
133
9 God Music and the Poetry of the Brain
176
Epilogue
204
Appendix 1 Brief Biographies of Some Poets with Bipolar Disorder
215
Appendix 2 Some Notable Religious Poets
222
Notes
227
References
263
Index
279
Urheberrecht

Other Neurological Conditions
159

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Über den Autor (2007)

Michael R. Trimble, MD, is professor emeritus of behavioral neurology at University College London's Institute of Neurology. He is the author of The Intentional Brain: Motion, Emotion, and the Development of Modern Neuropsychiatry, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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