Love, Creativity, and the Quest for Human Happiness
The brain is an evolutionary triumph of neural engineering. Its capacity to seek knowledge and form generalized concepts is boundless. In this ground-breaking new study, Semir Zeki explores the enormously elegant and efficient machinery of the brain to analyze its products in creative disciplines and discover whether or not this intricate system brings different solutions to bear in solving problems in disparate fields.
Splendors and Miseries of the Brain, which is derived from Balzac's novel of the same name, delves into the brain's key functions of obtaining knowledge and forming concepts about the world. While these functions have been more thoroughly documented in neurobiology's traditional disciplines--physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, mathematics, and computer science, to name but a few--Zeki goes beyond these fields to scientifically study the products of the brain in literature, music, art, and other fields. By studying these fields, Zeki shows that we can reach important conclusions about how the brain functions and its common processes. He also examines the heavy price to be paid in terms of human happiness that comes with the exquisite capacity of the brain and shows how misery can ultimately be turned to advantage, due to its intimate link to creativity.
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