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Psychology

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Science, Totems, and the Technological Species

We need nature for our physical and psychological well-being. Our actions reflect this when we turn to beloved pets for companionship, vacation in spots of natural splendor, or spend hours working in the garden. Yet we are also a technological species and have been since we fashioned tools out of stone. Thus one of this century’s central challenges is to embrace our kinship with a more-than-human world--“our totemic self”--and integrate that kinship with our scientific culture and technological selves.

Since it was introduced to the English-speaking world in 1962, Lev Vygotsky’s Thought and Language has become recognized as a classic foundational work of cognitive science. Its 1962 English translation must certainly be considered one of the most important and influential books ever published by the MIT Press. In this highly original exploration of human mental development, Vygotsky analyzes the relationship between words and consciousness, arguing that speech is social in its origins and that only as children develop does it become internalized verbal thought.

Darwinian Perspectives on Human Nature

Evolutionary psychology occupies an important place in the drive to understand and explain human behavior. Darwinian ideas provide powerful tools to illuminate how fundamental aspects of the way humans think, feel, and interact derive from reproductive interests and an ultimate need for survival. In this updated and expanded edition of Evolution and Human Behavior, John Cartwright considers the emergence of Homo sapiens as a species and looks at contemporary issues, such as familial relationships and conflict and cooperation, in light of key theoretical principles.

The event-related potential (ERP) technique in cognitive neuroscience allows scientists to observe human brain activity that reflects specific cognitive processes. In An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique, Steve Luck offers the first comprehensive guide to the practicalities of conducting ERP experiments in cognitive neuroscience and related fields, including affective neuroscience and experimental psychopathology.

Introduction to Cognitive Science

Cognitive science approaches the study of mind and intelligence from an interdisciplinary perspective, working at the intersection of philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. With Mind, Paul Thagard offers an introduction to this interdisciplinary field for readers who come to the subject with very different backgrounds. It is suitable for classroom use by students with interests ranging from computer science and engineering to psychology and philosophy.

Core Readings

Scientists from many disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, and neuroscience, contribute to the study of cognition. Cognitive psychology, the science of the human mind and of how people process information, is at the core of empirical investigations into the nature of mind and thought.

An Introduction

This far-ranging book shows how human memory influences the organization of music. The book is divided into two parts. The first part presents basic ideas about memory and perception from cognitive psychology and, to some extent, cognitive linguistics. Topics include auditory processing, perception, and recognition. The second part describes in detail how the concepts from the first part are exemplified in music.

An Introduction to Psychoacoustics
Edited by Perry R. Cook

How hearing works and how the brain processes sounds entering the ear to provide the listener with useful information are of great interest to psychologists, cognitive scientists, and musicians. However, while a number of books have concentrated on individual aspects of this field, known as psychoacoustics, there has been no comprehensive introductory coverage of the multiple topics encompassed under the term. Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound is the first book to provide that coverage.

Core Readings

Concepts: Core Readings traces the develoment of one of the most active areas of investigation in cognitive science. This comprehensive volume brings together the essential background readings from philosophy, psychology, and linguistics, while providing a broad sampling of contemporary research. The first part of the book centers around the fall of the Classical Theory of Concepts in the face of attacks by W. V. O. Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Eleanor Rosch, and others, emphasizing the emergence and development of the Prototype Theory and the controversies it spurred.

Making Sense of People

How do we make sense of other people and of ourselves? What do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives and about the situations in which we encounter them, and how do we use this knowledge in our attempt to understand, predict, or recall their behavior? Are our social judgments fully determined by our social knowledge, or are they also influenced by our feelings and desires?

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