2021 popular The Face in the Mirror: lowest The Search for the new arrival Origins of Consciousness sale

2021 popular The Face in the Mirror: lowest The Search for the new arrival Origins of Consciousness sale

2021 popular The Face in the Mirror: lowest The Search for the new arrival Origins of Consciousness sale

Gently used may contain ex-library markings, possibly has some light highlighting, textual notations, and or underlining. Text is still easily readable.
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How do we know who we are? When and how did we become aware of our presence and thoughts? Why do some species develop self-awareness, while others do not?

This question of self-awareness and consciousness has puzzled philosophers and scientists alike, from Aristotle and Darwin to Descartes and William James. In his famous "mirror test" thirty years ago, leading researcher Gordon G. Gallup Jr. showed that self-awareness begins with the recognition of one’s reflection in the mirror, an ability that only higher order primates possess. In The Face in the Mirror, Julian Paul Keenan, Gordon G. Gallup Jr., and Dean Falk further explore mirror recognition as the key to understanding the origins of consciousness and its role in our evolution, everyday behavior, and ongoing survival.

For the past decade, Julian Paul Keenan and his colleagues have been closing in on the source of self-awareness in the brain. With the advent of MRI technology and other techniques, they have examined the hypothesis that there is a brain network specifically involved in self-recognition. This book shows how the right hemisphere of the brain (where mirror recognition takes place), often relegated to "supporting role" status, may be a more crucial determinant of higher order consciousness. Keenan also shows how recognizing our reflection -- an ability we take for granted -- is linked to such common self-related functions as memory and to emotions like empathy, narcissism, and deception, which play a crucial role in evolution.

Insightful, witty, and accessible, The Face in the Mirror plunges the reader into the forefront of thedebate on consciousness in humans and primates. From animals who share our ability for self-recognition, to the development of self-awareness in children, to case studies of patients who no longer recognize who they are, Keenan examines some of the latest evidence in the fields of neurology, psychology, and anthropology and suggests remarkable and surprising results about the function of self-awareness in humans and other primates.

From Publishers Weekly

Why do we experience a sense of self? Is it unique to humans? Is it a spiritual force or a natural function of the brain? Keenan, director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at Montclair State University, reduces these age-old metaphysical problems to scientifically testable questions and, piece by piece, constructs his theory that the self resides in the brain''s right hemisphere. He begins by equating recognition of one''s own reflection with self-awareness; as coauthor Gallup showed three decades ago, monkeys, humans'' distant relatives, fail the mirror self-recognition test while our nearer cousins the chimpanzees pass, suggesting that self-awareness originated far back in the apes'' evolutionary lineage. Children first exhibit self-awareness around the age of two, then quickly develop the ability to take the perspective of another person. Essential to primate society, this ability to "attribute mental states to others" is called Theory of Mind and makes cooperation possible, although, as even chimps know, it also confers a talent for deception. Keenan next introduces brain anatomy and modern neuroimaging technology in preparation for an armchair field trip to his laboratory, where he describes his own research and pinpoints structures responsible for self-recognition in the brain''s right frontal region. Studies of patients with an impaired sense of self provide further evidence for the significance of this region. Whether Keenan convinces professional colleagues of his theory about the right brain origins of self, this engaging book, written with Gallup and anthropologist Falk, will delight readers curious about the mind and the scientists who study it. B&w illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Humans have it; so do chimpanzees and orangutans; gorillas generally don''t; and monkeys--forget about it. We''re talking about the ability to recognize one''s self in a mirror, which neuroscientists such as Keenan use as an experimental tool for investigating self-awareness. The ultimate goal of such research is to map the areas of the brain involved in consciousness. But between self-recognition and consciousness, there is a halfway house called self-awareness, which is Keenan''s primary focus here. He reviews the body of scientific literature, purges it of jargon, and explains in plain language the experiments investigators have performed on primates, children, and people with a brain injury or disease. Intuitive though parents are about their children''s mental development, they will find intriguing the rigor of Keenan''s discussion about why, for example, Junior has learned how to lie by age three. The author''s incorporation of such common parental experiences, plus his chuckling observations about his own experiences of self-awareness, makes Keenan''s complicated subject completely accessible. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“[Keenan] purges [scientific literature] of jargon, and explains in plain language the experiments investigators have performed.” -- Booklist

This engaging book…will delight readers curious about the mind and the scientists who study it.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Fascinating … Keenan’s writing is breezy and conversational, and the book is exciting and fun to read.” -- San Diego Union-Tribune

“[A] remarkably clear book.” -- Salt Lake City Tribune

About the Author

A Harvard-trained neurologist, Julian Paul Keenan is currently an assistant professor in psychology and the director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at Montclair State University and a researcher at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University. He was previously on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He lives with his wife, Ilene, in Jersey City, New Jersey.



Gordon G. Gallup Jr. is a senior professor of psychology at SUNY-Albany, who researches evolution and behavior among humans, primates, and other animals. His groundbreaking "mirror test" helped reconceptualize recent studies in self-awareness and consciousness.



Dean Falk is a senior anthropologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Her work has focused especially on gender differences and the origins of language and music in the brain. She is well known for her "radiator hypothesis," which explains how humans keep their extra-large brains cool.

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Sally K. Severino
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Face in the Mirror
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Julian Paul Keenan (neurologist) with Gordon G. Gallup Jr. (psychologist) and Dean Falk (anthropologist) have taken a weighty subject--research on the origins of consciousness and the source of self-awareness in the brain--and put it... See more
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Julian Paul Keenan (neurologist) with Gordon G. Gallup Jr. (psychologist) and Dean Falk (anthropologist) have taken a weighty subject--research on the origins of consciousness and the source of self-awareness in the brain--and put it into an easily understandable narrative.

Relevant personal vignettes are interspersed with the story of how their research developed over the years. Results of their research are presented in clearly understandable often witty and always insightful terms. The discursive style of the book allows their story to unfold evenly. My attention held to the very end.

The book will appeal to anyone interested in how the mind emerges from brain functions.
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Carlos Camara
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good, but limited
Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2004
This is a good book, a good read and interesting too. One gets a little of anthropology, and a little of functional brain imaging. All of it, of course, involving self-awareness. Keenan mantains that to be self-consicous one must pass the mirror test-in short- to be able to... See more
This is a good book, a good read and interesting too. One gets a little of anthropology, and a little of functional brain imaging. All of it, of course, involving self-awareness. Keenan mantains that to be self-consicous one must pass the mirror test-in short- to be able to recognize the image in a mirror as yourself and not as another individual. Most higher apes, it turns out pass the test. Children at about the age of 2 or 3 do too. Some autistic children do not, and autism is sometimes refered to as a problem with theory of mind or self-awareness. It seems then that self-consciousness is something some systems have and others do not. Keenan then reviews the literature on the functional imaging of several interesting tasks that seem to require self-awareness, and concludes that the right cerebral lobe is involved, possibly with the cingulate and prefrontal cortex more centrally related. So far so good.
But for Keenan to have entered into such an interdiciplinary debate, he seem to have forgotten that philosophically, his ideas would at most rest on shaky grounds. Let me elaborate. First, he seems to equate self-consicousness with self-recognition. Now the first thing I would ask is if self-recognition is sufficient for self-awareness}. That is, would a computer programmed to respond to internal signals in an appropiate way be self-awarë? I would say not. But Keenan tries to avoid these objections by holding that self-recognition is an ability one gains by vitrtue of being self-aware. (since self-recognition appears to be correlated with other self related cogniitve abilities). But then Keenan wrote a book about an ability one gains after being self-aware, not a book on self-awareness. Writing a book about visual discrimination is not the same as writinga book about vision, even when I can only discriminate between 2 visual stimuli if I can see in the first place. It is obvious that one can still see, but not discriminate between two stimuli (think of prosopagnosia- loss of face-recognition), and it is equally plausible that one can not recognize himself in a mirror but still be self-aware. This example is interesting, because Keenan would claim that there is a difference between not recognizing yourself because you are not self-aware that because you have a visual impairment. But the point is that although correlated-that is- self-awareness usually comes with self-recognition, it is only that, a correlation. It is then unclear why the mirror test should be so special. It may have positives, but I imagine it has many false negatives.
This can be applied to the neuroscience too: maybe the abilities that one gains by virtue of being self-aware are located on the right hemisphere, but this does not mean it is the location of self-consicousness too. Language is located on the left hemisphere, but the cognitive resources (whatever they are; conceptual information, grammar, memory, mental relations, ideas)and the anatomical resources (mouth, tounge, lips) do not have to be located there too. Of course Keenan simply argues that the right might be dominant for self-awareness, but not the only location of a self-awareness module. In that case, self-awareness seems to be a much more suubtle phenomenon that just the collection of all the self-related abilities.
Now it seems to me that Keenan missed the point from the beggining. He tries to separate self-awareness from awareness itself, when it is not clear this can be done. Maybe self-awareness is just regular awareness but with a self-content, instead of a visual-content or a object-content. In that case, what Keenan theorizes about are the properties, cerebral correlates, and species variations of self-contents, but not of self-awareness itself, just like vison research studies the location of object representations in the brain and not the awareness of objects itself. (For an alternative, check out Thomas Metzingers book, The self-model theory of subjectivity, where in order to write about the self, he first wrote 350 pages on a theory of what makes representations consicous. Now that is an investigation of self-AWARENESS)
Keenans speculations on the functions of self-awareness are quite interesting and plausible. In my opinion,at the end he only succeeds in studying cognitive self-processing, but not self-awareness itself. However meanly I reviewed his book, it still seems to me a good read, a good adition into a neuroscientists library, and a thought inspiring discussion of soome very interesting concepts.
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J
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Easy to read!
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2013
Most of the topics discussed in this book were new to me but I was not overwhelmed while reading. The language used in this book is very simple to understand and the theories are all very interesting. Highly recommended if you are interested in where the origin of... See more
Most of the topics discussed in this book were new to me but I was not overwhelmed while reading. The language used in this book is very simple to understand and the theories are all very interesting. Highly recommended if you are interested in where the origin of consciousness in the brain might be. Julian Keenan puts forth a pretty convincing argument!
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JSW_SB
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Self awareness studied through physical science.
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2014
Fabulous intro to modern science of mind and self based on the structure of the brain.
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javier Granell
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
very interesting text on selfawareness
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2014
good aproach to the hard problem of selfconciousness. Pretty simple language and neuroscientific concepts easy to understand. Useful for beginners in neuroscience of consciousness
2 people found this helpful
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M. E. Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Interesting Read
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2005
Imagine what it must be like to not recognize your "self." How would you put on makeup? Shave? Get an eyelash out of your eye? When you are walking by a department store window and see a person out of the corner of your eye, how do you know the reflection you are looking at... See more
Imagine what it must be like to not recognize your "self." How would you put on makeup? Shave? Get an eyelash out of your eye? When you are walking by a department store window and see a person out of the corner of your eye, how do you know the reflection you are looking at is "you"?

Dr. Julian Keenan, Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology at Montclair State University, had similar questions and many more during his study of self-awareness. The Face in the Mirror is sort of a summary of that work and the documented research relating to it. Keenan states the "purpose of this book is to tell the story of self-awareness".

Keenan discusses the definition of self-awareness, what it means to us and how to measure it scientifically. Self recognition and Theory of Mind are thoroughly described with wonderful examples to help laymen comprehend them. He details previous studies spanning hundreds of years.

A major portion of The Face in the Mirror discusses where in the brain these areas exist. Keenan believes the right hemisphere (generally ignored) holds the key to our self-recognition and self-awareness and he discusses numerous studies he feels proves it.

This book is not only for the scholarly, which was what I was expecting. Keenan''s writing style is understandable and surprisingly light. He made numerous attempts to lighten the content with personal anecdotes, analogies and humor which also provide a better understanding.

The Face in the Mirror forces us to think and question how we see ourselves. It also makes us wonder about the skills we have and often take for granted. While it cannot change our basic construct, it helps us to understand why we are the way we are and shows what, in one researcher''s opinion, "identifies us as fully human." The Face in the Mirror is successful in explaining its purpose and its arguments are effective and persuasive. An interesting read.

Review Originally Posted at [...]
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Sami Hananel
4.0 out of 5 stars
Interdisciplinary study
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2009
Thomas Nagel has pointed the diffucties faced by philosophy because of our dual view (subjective and objective) of the world. I think science also faces the same problem. J. P. Keenan''s area of research is just on top of this (geological) fault. Keenan chooses rightly to... See more
Thomas Nagel has pointed the diffucties faced by philosophy because of our dual view (subjective and objective) of the world. I think science also faces the same problem. J. P. Keenan''s area of research is just on top of this (geological) fault. Keenan chooses rightly to study the observable (behavioral) phenomena
associated with our sense of self awareness and the associated complex of subjective phenomena, like our sense of continuity in time, and mind theory.
The strenght of the book lies in a multy disciplinary approach. Experiments from pschology, neurological studies of pathologies associated with the self, child developmental studies experiments with animals and different brain imaging techniques are presented in a coordinated way. If as can be expected no proof is offered for the two central thesis:
1- The face in the mirror test is strongly correlated with self awareness
2- The right brain may be the dominant partner in our
self consciousnes.
A reasonable and well argued case is presented.
It is only at the end, where J. P.Keenan speculate
on the role of evolution in the genesis of our self
awareness and the possible survival value of our self
conciousness that in my opinion he goes astray and
offers our capacity for deception as the main benefit.
This seems highly unlikly as in the small protohuman groups living in the pleistocene a "deceiver" would have been found out and rejected by his clan, not an outcome leading to a high probability for survival.
Another possibility that he rejects, that our self awareness and the attached sense of continuity is the basis for our capacity to imagine future senarios and plan accordigly may be a much better help for survival.
It may be also that "the theory of mind" is one of the bases for our ability to understand and use language.
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Edward Sisson
2.0 out of 5 stars
book lost my confidence after 80 pages
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2004
I regret I lost confidence in this book because the authors (and apparently all the scientists whose experiments they discuss) don''t address what strikes me to be a serious problem with the inference they draw that because people or chimps recognize that their images in a... See more
I regret I lost confidence in this book because the authors (and apparently all the scientists whose experiments they discuss) don''t address what strikes me to be a serious problem with the inference they draw that because people or chimps recognize that their images in a mirror are images of themselves, this indicates a mental ability to be "self aware." Now I happen to think that people, chimps, & others ARE self aware, but the mirror test neither confirms it nor rebuts it. What appears to be going on is that people, chimps, and perhaps some other animals are mentally able to conceive that a mirror is presenting them a copy image of objects in the immediate environment around them -- one of which objects happens to be the body of the person or chimp that is doing the viewing. Other animals mentally are simply incapable of conceiving of a "copy" of an object that is near them being displayed nearby. Now, why is it that a chimp recognizes him/herself in a mirror if he/she has never before seen his/her own face? Simply because he/she knows what his/her own arms & legs & torso look like, which he/she sees in the mirror to be the same objects as seen directly; and this is confirmed by the duplicate motions of arms etc. The chimp then makes the connection, by touching his/her own face and seeing the arm in the image touch a face, and feeling his/her own hand touching her/his face, that the mirror is displaying other parts of the body as well that due to their position in relation to the eye are not directly visible by eye. All this is simply object recognition. The chimp is recognizing that the mirror is showing other sides of objects, some of which sides the chimp has never seen before. The interesting test experiment that needs to be done, but is not discussed in the book, is to confirm whether chimps can use mirrors (or live video monitor) to show a view into a box with a treat, a box that they cannot see into but can reach into. If by using the mirror or video image they can catch the treat, then you know they are using object recognition. Another test might be to apply the anecdote Darwin relates (see page 58 of the book) where his 6-month-old baby knew that if he saw the father suddenly appear in the mirror, he needed to turn around to look at his father in person. Obviously what Darwin''s baby did was recognize that the mirror was showing him the image of a person who was elsewhere in the room. By definition this is not self-awareness; the baby is not the father. The process by which the baby recognizes the father, and recognizes that the image of the father is telling him that the real father is elsehere in the room (not in the glass) is the same process as that by which the baby recognizes himself: the baby comprehends that the mirror has duplicated the image of an object. Nor does it make any difference that the baby knows his own body; innumerable animals, perhaps all, know their own bodies; many groom themselves. If body grooming is self awareness then every cat and hamster is self-aware ipso-facto. (A possible flaw in the dot-on-the-face experiments is that they trigger a natural grooming response, which tells us less than if the experiment somehow called for behavior that was uncharacteristic of the animal''s normal behavior). Lastly, the authors need to speak with more precision. To say that an animal (the viewing animal) that fails the mirror test is responding as if the image in the mirror is another animal means that the viewing animal thinks there is another animal in the apparent location where the mirror displays the image. It is not accurate to say (and the authors do not mean to say) that the viewing animal realizes that the mirror is presenting a copy image but mistakenly thinks the copy image is of some other animal located elsewhere in the room (the source animal). If the viewing animal understood that the mirror image was a copy, such that the viewing animal''s confusion stemmed from the source of the image, the viewing animal would not respond directly at the mirror image, it would start looking elsewhere around the room to find the animal that was the source of the image. But of course, no animal engages on such a puzzling and fruitless search for that nonexistent source animal. That proves that the viewing animal''s problem is an inability understand that the image is a copy, not that the animal knows it is a copy but is confused about the source of the copy image. In short, animals fail the mirror test due to a mental inability to conceive of the concept of copying an object as an image -- just like the old Aesop fable of the dog with a bone crossing a bridge, who looks down, sees the image of a dog with a bone reflected in the water, and opens his own mouth in an attempt to grab the bone of the "other dog" (and so loses his own bone). Repeatedly the authors refer to the chimp recognizing "himself" in the mirror, when to be more precise the chimp is recognizing one of many objects in the environment, that object happening to be the chimp himself. The fact that the chimp may spend more time looking at his own body in the mirror than at other objects also duplicated as images in the mirror merely derives from the fact that all animals are most interested in their own bodies; the bodies cause feelings of comfort or discomfort and are the key to survival. In short, the mirror test appears to me to test only the ability to conceive that objects around one can be duplicated in image form, but does not test self awareness or consciousness. These objections seem to me to be so obvious, and so telling against the theories that are the premise of this book, that I would have liked to see these issues addressed within the first 50 pages if in fact any of these scientists have addressed them. I stopped reading because these issues weren''t addressed early-on and because, based on the table of contents, it did not appear that this book would ever address these issues.
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