Mind and Brain
Cognitive neuroscience explores the relationship between our minds and our brains, most recently by drawing on brain imaging techniques to align neural mechanisms with psychological processes. In Mind and Brain, William Uttal offers a critical review of cognitive neuroscience, examining both its history and modern developments in the field. He pays particular attention to the role of brain imaging--especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)--in studying the mind-brain relationship. He argues that, despite the explosive growth of this new mode of research, there has been more hyperbole than critical analysis of what experimental outcomes really mean. With Mind and Brain, Uttal attempts a synoptic synthesis of this substantial body of scientific literature.
After an introductory discussion, he turns to his main theme: what neuroscience and psychology have contributed to each other. He considers specific empirical findings in such fields as sensation, perception, emotion and affect, learning and memory, and consciousness. For each field, he considers psychological and behavioral concerns that can help guide the neuroscienctific discussion; work done before the advent of imaging systems; and what brain imaging has brought to recent research. Cognitive neuroscience, Uttal argues, is truly both cognitive and neuroscientific. Both approaches are necessary and neither is sufficient to make sense of the greatest scientific issue of all: how the brain makes the mind.
About the Author
William R. Uttal is Professor Emeritus (Engineering) at Arizona State University and Professor Emeritus (Psychology) at the University of Michigan. He is the author of many books, including The New Phrenology: On the Localization of Cognitive Processes in the Brain (MIT Press, 2001) and Distributed Neural Systems: Beyond the New Phrenology.
“...Uttal's critical assessment of the last twenty years of imaging findings offers a refreshing treatment of the hype surrounding neuroimaging methods that will undoubtedly benefit neuroscience research and philosophical accounts of the mind/brain problem.”—Simone Marini, Metapsychology Online
“Mind and Brain is clearly written and well documented....The style is lively and abrasive at times, which makes for entertaining reading but is also likely to infuriate many readers....The book raises fundamental epistemological, methodological, and empirical questions...the timing is perfect. There is serious soul searching to be done for cognitive neuroscience.”—Minds and Machines
“Mind and Brain presents the reader with a remarkably complete and clear understanding of cognitive neuroscience as a field. With the inclusion of topic-specific philosophy, history, and research, the chapters serve a particularly effective foundation function for those planning neuroscience research or preparing grant projects and/or research reports. This book should be required reading for both research neuroscientists and instructors whose goal is to provide the clearest and most current understanding of the neuro-, cognitive, and behavioral sciences. It is exceptional.”
—Steven Schandler, Professor of Psychology and Director, Addiction Research and Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratories, Chapman University