Altered Egos

Altered Egos : How the Brain Creates the Self

3.64 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
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How does the brain, an organ composed of billions of individual cells, create the subjective sense of a unified self? And where is the self located in the brain? Here, the author describes his search, from medical school through his career as a psychiatrist and neurologist, for answers to these questions. The result is a work that explores the fundamental relationship between the self and the brain. Beginning with vignettes of patients who have neurological perturbations of the self, Feinberg gives an account of how the human brain functions - and malfunctions - in people with psychiatric and neurological disorders. In doing so he presents a theory of the self that links the workings of the brain with unique features of the mind, such as meaning, purpose and being. Feinberg argues that computers will never be conscious or have selves because the self and the mind are unique constituents of the life of the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019513625X
  • 9780195136258

Review quote

"Altered Egos offers us a dazzling array of neurological syndromes to show how delicately constructed is our sense of self...The shock of such tales is to see how distorted your mental realm can become withour you ever knowing the difference." --New Scientist"Anyone perplexed by the riddle of consciousness--and who is not these days?--should read Todd Feinberg's bold, energetic account of how a brain makes a mind." --John Horgan, author of The Undiscovered Mind"A fascinating book. I was astonished to find out that one of my favorite film characters, Dr. Strangelove, is actually displaying signs of "alien hand," a medical syndrome. There are many real-life case studies in this book used to explain the way the human mind invents and reinvents itself. A must read!"--Gus Van Sant, film director"This is an ambitious work, tackling no less than the mind-body problem. Amazingly, it is successful in that it offers a new way of thinking about problems of self, subjectivity and meaning . . . I am extremely enthusiastic about this book." --Martha J. Farah, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania"In the tradition of Jackson, Critchley, and Sacks, Todd Feinberg melds clinical wisdom, impressive scholarship, and profound philosophical insight to produce a lucid and enchanting account of what determines our daily actions and experiences. Far beyond the tired genre of "neurostories," Altered Egos examines the souls behind the symptoms to give the reader a stunning appreciation of how all the aspects of our lives that we take for grantedour perceptions, memories, feelings, and beliefsare actually sculpted and crafted from myriad experiential elements that can only be dissected and examined under the harsh lens of injury or disease. Above all, Altered Egos shows us how intentionalitythe purposeful seeking of meaningis what distinguishes us from both beast and computer, and this warm and thoughtful book provides a blueprint of what it truly means to be a human being."-- Laurence Miller, Ph.D., author of Inner Natures and Freud's Brain"Altered Egos combines philosophy and psychology with case histories of neurological and psychiatric patients to paint a novel picture of how the brain makes the self. It's fascinating reading, start to finish. -Joseph E. LeDoux, Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, New York University, and author of The Emotional Brainshow more

About Todd E. Feinberg

Todd E. Feinberg, M.D. is Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Chief of the Betty and Morton Yarmon Division of Neurobehavior and Alzheimer's Disease at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New more

Table of contents

Introduction: soul searching; deconstructing the self; missing pieces, familiar places; mything persons; auto-bodies; keeping it all together; journey to the centre of the mind; the nested hierarchy of the self and mind; being and brain; the living more

Rating details

28 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 18% (5)
4 43% (12)
3 29% (8)
2 7% (2)
1 4% (1)
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