Download PDF by António R. Damásio: Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain

By António R. Damásio

ISBN-10: 0380726475

ISBN-13: 9780380726479

During this wondrously lucid and interesting booklet, well known neurologist Antonio Damasio demonstrates what many people have lengthy suspected: feelings are usually not a luxurious, they're necessary to rational thinking.Descartes' blunders takes the reader on a charming trip of clinical discovery, beginning with the case of Phineas Gage--a development foreman who in 1848 survived a freak twist of fate within which a three half foot iron rod undergone his head--and carrying on with directly to Damasio's reports with modern day neurological sufferers suffering from mind harm. faraway from interfering with rationality, his study indicates us, the absence of emotion and feeling can holiday down rationality and make clever selection making nearly most unlikely.

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Extra resources for Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain

Example text

One held that psychological functions such as language or memory could never be traced to a particular region of the brain. If one had to accept, reluctantly, that the brain did produce the mind, it did so as a whole and not as a collection of parts with special functions. The other camp held that, on the contrary, the brain did have specialized parts and those parts generated separate mind functions. The rift between the two camps was not merely indicative of the infancy of brain research; the argument endured for another century and, to a certain extent, is still with us today.

The tests simply do not address properly the particular functions that are compromised and thus fail to measure any de- A M O D E R N P H I N EAS G A G E cline. Knowing of Elliot's condition and his lesion, I predicted that he would be found normal on most psychological tests but abnormal on a small number of tests which are sensitive to malfunction in frontal cortices. As you will see, Elliot would surprise me. The standardized psychological and neuropsychological tests re­ vealed a superior intellecV On every subtest of the Wechsler Adult Inte ll igence Scale, Elliot showed abilities that were either superior or average.

He sailed through the task, seemingly no different from unimpaired people. Through the years he has maintained this type of perfor­ mance on the Wisconsin test and on comparable tasks. Implicit in Elliot's normal performance in this test are the ability to attend and operate on a working memory, as well as an essential logical compe­ tence and the ability to change mental set. The ability to make estimates on the basis of incomplete knowl­ edge is another index of superior intellectual function that is often compromised in patients with frontal lobe damage.

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Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain by António R. Damásio


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