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1. Second Nature: Brain Science and
2. Wider Than the Sky: A Revolutionary
3. Mindful Brain: Cortical Organization
4. Consciousness: How Matter Becomes
5. Signal and Sense: Local and Global
6. Auditory Function: Neurobiological
7. Synaptic Function (The Neurosciences
8. How We Know: Nobel Conference
9. Morphoregulatory Molecules (Neurosciences
10. The Cell in Contact: Adhesions
11. Molecular Bases of Neural Development
12. Biologie de la conscience
13. Gehirn und Geist. Wie aus Materie
14. Neural Darwinism: Theory of Neuronal
15. EDELMAN, GERALD M. (1929- ): An
16. Biography - Edelman, Gerald M.
18. Molecular Machinery of the Membrane
19. Dynamic Aspects of Neocortical
20. Das Licht des Geistes. Wie Bewusstsein

1. Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
by Gerald M. Edelman
Kindle Edition: 224 Pages (2006-10-24)
list price: US$13.00
Asin: B0015AOSKM
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness—the very center of human concern—by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the latest research imply that all knowledge can be reduced to scientific description?

Edelman’s brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing. While the gulf between science and the humanities and their respective views of the world has seemed enormous in the past, the author shows that their differences can be dissolved by considering their origins in brain functions. He foresees a day when brain-based devices will be conscious, and he reflects on this and other fascinating ideas about how we come to know the world and ourselves.

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Customer Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars Edelman does a better job of detailing what he is against than what he is for.
I am a big fan of anything Darwinian, so when I heard of Edelman's "Neural Darwinism" I knew I had to give this book a read; however, I was not impressed. Here is what the book is about: "This book is the result of a line of thought leading to what I have called brain-based epistemology. This term refers to efforts to ground the theory of knowledge in an understanding of how the brain works. It is an extension of the notion of naturalized epistemology, a proposal made by the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine." Edelman is no doubt a very intelligent man but his writing style is just too verbose and more than a little smug. I should add that I generally agree with everything Edelman had to say - I just don't think this a great book. My chief complaint is that Edelman spends more time discussing what he doesn't like in other people's work rather than focusing on what his own "Neural Darwinism" is. For example, I picked out several theories and people that Edelman focuses criticism on: Computationalism (which is not a unique position) - Daniel Dennett (Consciousness Explained), Jerry Fodor (LOT 2: The Language of Thought Revisited), Reductionist Evolutionary Psychology - E. O. Wilson (Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge), Richard Dawkins (The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution) and Michael Gazzaniga (Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique).

The view that Edelman does support in a big way is Embodied Embedded Cognition (EEC). Some books that support this view are (Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension),(Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness) and (Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World). On the plus side, it is a small and short book, so if you feel like you want to read it then go ahead.

3-0 out of 5 stars Articulate
There has been an incredible advancement in the clarity of our understanding of the brain this decade. It seems that the mountains of data that have been gathered over the last 40 years or so are finally painting the picture of the remarkable functions of our brain as neuroscientists and psychologists put together the pieces into plausible theories. Second Nature is one of those attempts to put these pieces together along with the author's brilliant insights.

I felt like the author's concept of Neural Darwinism should have been expanded on much more as it seems to be the focus of his contribution to brain theory. The debate of types of epistemology and how all that history relates to the current fields of study was not what I was interested in, but maybe others would be. While I found the general way the book was written to be elegant and articulate, it may have been too much so, and I felt a slightly more plain spoken style would have been more effective for spreading his ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ingenious, But Not the Whole Story
Gerald Edelman won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1972 for his groundbreaking work on immunity. Though most Nobel Laureates either choose - or are forced to - rest on their laurels, Edelman soon began to move his attention to the brain and his first book on his theories was published as The Mindful Brain almost thirty years ago. In recent years he has suggested that the ways in which the complex adaptive system by which the body decides which lymphocytes to stimulate and mobilize may be similar to the way in which the brain functions.

His theory is known as "neuronal group selection" or "Neural Darwinism" and proposes that anatomical connections in the brain are selected during development. Secondly that there is a second selective process that occurs as a result of experiences after birth, and finally that there is a system of what is known as re-entrant signaling.

It is a beautiful and complex theory and over the last twenty years he has explored these ideas in a series of books: In 1987 he published Neural Darwinism: The Theory Of Neuronal Group Selection Three years later came Remembered Present: A Biological Theory Of Consciousness, and then Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On The Matter Of The Mind in 1992. It was almost a decade before he returned to his theme in A Universe Of Consciousness How Matter Becomes Imagination. I have enjoyed all of them, though none is easy reading, and I kept coming away with the uneasy feeling that the work is ingenious, but does not explain quite as much as it seems.

This latest book, Second Nature, is much the most accessible of his works, but left me with a similar feeling: ingenious but lacking.

So what is it about? Edelman skims over the details of his theory of neuronal group selection but on this occasion he does not assume a lot of knowledge on the part of the reader. So he explains the basic ideas very clearly and sets the theory in context in thirteen chapters:
1. The Galilean Arc and Darwin's Program
2. Consciousness, Body, and Brain
3. Selectionism: A Prerequisite for Consciousness
4. From Brain Activity to Consciousness
5. Epistemology and Its Discontents
6. A Brain-Based Approach
7. Forms of Knowledge: The Divorce between Science and the Humanities
8. Repairing the Rift
9. Causation, Illusions, and Values
10. Creativity: The Play between Specificity and Range
11. Abnormal States
12. Brain-Based Devices: Toward a Conscious Artifact
13. Second Nature: The Transformation of Knowledge

He takes the view that any effective theory of consciousness must take a global, whole brain approach and must be based on selection rather than instruction.

In contrast to many books for the public, he emphasizes that "the brain is not a computer, and the world is not a piece of tape." This is important: complex systems are riddled with "noise" and computers have to get rid of it, while brains actively depend on it. The brain uses the enormous and ever-changing variability of sensory inputs - noise - to construct patterned responses.

A problem that has pre-occupied philosophers and scientist for generations is subjectivity or qualia: how do we generate those private experiences of sights and sounds? Edelman thinks that he has the answer: Complex looping neural circuits that make multiple discriminations, and the qualia are those discriminations.

This ingenious idea is hard to prove. It also fails to take into account observations on the continuity of awareness in meditators with negligible neurological activity. Or the hardest nut of all: does this truly help us to create a neurological model of consciousness? For some people such questions are unimportant, and simply await time and technology. But I think that they remain key tests of the theory.

This is a short, but extremely clear and thought provoking book that I recommend highly.

Richard G. Petty, MD, author of Healing, Meaning and Purpose: The Magical Power of the Emerging Laws of Life

5-0 out of 5 stars Insights into Human Brain Function
The author points out that, until recently, there has been no non-invasive method for studying the functioning brain. All this has changed.

The brain is not a computer. Computers use logic; the brain works by pattern recognition instead.

The author discusses the process of natural selection inherent in Darwinism, as well as the selective process that enables our immune system to identify and destroy invaders. He sees a comparable process active in the brain, which he calls neutral Darwinism. In this process, neural pathways that are fired tend to connect together, and become reinforced. Unused ones wither away. Because of this selection process, even twins' brains differ.

So how does human consciousness work? Edelman believes that first there was the brain capability for symbolic and semantic reference. Then the emergence of language made consciousness possible.

Many famous people are quoted in this book. For instance, Neils Bohr said: "Your theory is crazy but it is not crazy enough to be true." The author attempts to compare his ideas with those of intellectual predecessors such as Freud and Descartes.

2-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Edelman's musings
On the front cover it says "Gerald Edelman, winner of the Nobel Prize".Hewas recognized for his contributions to immunology.In this field he characterized the group of proteins known as antibodies.These antibodies are a key element of the adaptive immune system of human beings and similar multicellular organisms.As I went through the book, I observed a number of things.Dr. Edelman seems to have given this subject a lot of thought.There are numerous references.He brings together a number of intellectuals and attempts a synthesis that is perhaps worthy of your attention.The writing is a bit pompous but it still flows in a nice manner.The problem, however, is that his musings seem to go all over the place but never get anywhere.So Dr. E can say a lot of things about the contributors of our understanding to brain physiology as well as consciousness.But so what?How does this affect the future of medicine, fundamental research, or the philosophy of mind?Perhaps it is too difficult to arrive at stronger connections between the mind and the brain for anyone.Dr. E gives it a try but, he doesn't seem to achieve the beauty that I see in his work on antibodies.This might be solved to some extent with more organization.He should know that a journal article has an abstract at the beginning that succinctly tells you what the paper is about.Why he did not extend this usual academic courtesy is bewildering.If he were to do a second edition, the publisher should hire an editor.I believe that the book relies too much on the fact that he did some ground-breaking work decades ago.This book shows that even Nobel Prize winners have times when they just aren't doing great work.They too, are human.

In short, if you know someone who is obsessed with the Nobel, then buy this book as a gift.It even has a nice cover that says "Nobel Prize" on it.The recipient will savor every sentence as if he or she is reading his work from the 1960s.If you want to learn something about how the brain and consciousness connect, then I would go read some real texts with elucidating figures and journal articles with real data.

... Read more

2. Wider Than the Sky: A Revolutionary View of Consciousness (Penguin Press Science)
by Gerald M. Edelman
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-06-30)
list price: US$18.60
Isbn: 0141015101
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In this, his first book aimed at the general reader, Gerald Edelman describes how consciousness arises in complex brains and how it is related to evolution, to the development of the self, and to the origins of feelings, learning, and memory. Edelman's theories offer a solution to the mind-body problem. An understanding of the workings of consciousness in scientific terms would be of enormous value in all areas of science, in medicine and psychiatry, and in the humanities. ... Read more

3. Mindful Brain: Cortical Organization and the Group-Selective Theory of Higher Brain Function
by Gerald M. Edelman, Vernon B. Mountcastle
Paperback: 106 Pages (1982-03-30)
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Asin: 0262550075
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This significant contribution to neuroscience consists of two papers, the first by Mountcastle an, the second by Edelman. Between them, they examine from different but complementary directions the relationships that connect the higher brain—memory, learning, perception, thinking—with what goes on at the most basic levels of neural activity, with particular stress on the role of local neuronal circuits.

Edelman's major hypothesis is that "the conscious state results from phasic reentrant signaling occurring in parallel processes that involve associations between stored patterns and current sensory or internal input." This selective process occurs by the polling of degenerate primary repertoires of neuronal groups that are formed during embryogenesis and development. Edelman's theory extrapolates to the brain the selectionistic immunological theories for which he was awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Mountcastle's paper reviews what is known about the actual structure of various parts of the neo cortex. He relates the large entities of the neocortex to their component modules—the local neuronal circuits—and shows how the complex interrelationships of such a distributed system can yield dynamic distributed functioning.

There are strong conceptual parallels between Mountcastle's idea of cortical columns and their functional subunits and Edelman's concept of populations of neurons functioning as processors in a brain system based on selectional rather than instructional principles. These parallels are traced and put into perspective in Francis Schmitt's Introduction. ... Read more

4. Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination (Penguin Press Science)
by Gerald M. Edelman, Giulio Tononi
Paperback: 288 Pages (2001-04-26)
list price: US$20.65 -- used & new: US$32.60
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Asin: 0140281479
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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What goes on in our heads when we have a thought? With this book, Edelman and Tononi present an empirically-supported full-scale theory of consciousness. They apply all of the resources and insights of modern neuroscience, from the largest computer models ever constructed to new experiments that detect the changes in brain activity. This pioneering work represents a landmark in our growing understanding of consciousness. Praise for Gerald Edelman: 'The new Darwin...His theory is an enrichment of life itself' - Oliver Sacks, "The Times". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

Within a single human brain the number of connections are far greater than the number of stars in the Universe. And from this chaotic complexity emerges an experience most of us are aware of but are hardly able to put to words: Consciousness. From philosophers and psychologists to engineers and physicists everyone seems to have some idea on how to approach this elusive subject. However, since this is a brain-based activity, it is the neurobiological approach that, in the end, is more luckily to bear tangible fruits.

As above, so below. This seems to be the key to unlocking Edelman's approach. Evolution and natural selection seems to apply not only to the level of organisms but also to memory systems. Edelman shared a Nobel prize in 1972 for his work on the evolving immune system. He then used a similar approach to tackle the mystery of our minds.

This book is not an easy one. It is dense with concepts and it will require the reader's full attention and dedication. Edelman's older theories (Neuronal Darwinism and Biological Consciousness) are presented in brief but not explained in depth - for that I would recommend his older book The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness. On the other hand, this book is not limited to specialists; dedicated enthusiasts can still get the most out of it. Its 274 pages are organized in seventeen chapters with full bibliography and index.

As memory and consciousness are also my foci of study (and research papers alone rarely offer the big picture!), I have read most of the books on the subject, from DENNET's Consciousness Explained to PENROSE's The Emperor's New Mind. I find the biological approach the most promising.
After all, any physicist or philosopher still has to use his brain to comprehend his mind interacting with the Universe.


5. Signal and Sense: Local and Global Order (Neuroscience Institute Monograph Ser.)
by Gerald M. Edelman
 Hardcover: 740 Pages (1990-10)
list price: US$165.00 -- used & new: US$271.55
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Asin: 0471530506
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What constitutes a meaningful signal for an organism in its ecological niche? This book considers this question with regard to how the structure and function of the nervous system allows perceptual categorization to occur. It addresses the overall theme under a variety of subtopics, including the recognition of biologically significant stimuli in the environment, the principles guiding development of patterns of anatomical and functional activity within the nervous system, and brain mechanisms in language. Theoretical as well as experimental approaches to understanding these subjects are included and the contributors represent disciplines ranging from psychology to cell biology. ... Read more

6. Auditory Function: Neurobiological Bases of Hearing (The Neurosciences Institute monograph series)
 Hardcover: 828 Pages (1988-12-14)
list price: US$200.00
Isbn: 0471617466
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Recent advances in anatomical, physiological, and psychophysical techniques and new formal analyses have made considerable advances in integrating the various aspects of hearing. Consisting of five sections, this volume begins with development and proceeds from the periphery to the highest psychological functions reflected in speech and guided behavior. In the first section the developing auditory system is considered; in Section Two cochlear neurobiology and current theories of cochlear mechanics are reviewed. Section Three deals with the response properties and electrical characteristics of auditory neurons. Section Four discusses the models of peripheral and central factors in intensity perception, auditory masking, and spectral shape discrimination. The final section examines auditory neuroethology and speech processing. ... Read more

7. Synaptic Function (The Neurosciences Institute Publications Series)
by Gerald M. Edelman, etc.
 Paperback: 800 Pages (1987-11-18)
list price: US$49.50
Isbn: 0471637084
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This book consists of five sections. The first section details methods for analyzing both presynaptic and postsynaptic function and emphasizes the molecular aspects of synapses. It describes ongoing studies of neurotransmitter realease, voltage-sensitive ion channels, and electronic transmission at gap junctions. The second section focuses on the growing menagerie of neurotransmitters: their categorization into chemical families, their relation to ion channels, their modulation by second messenger systems and their role in pharmacologic action. The third section considers the important relationship of transmitter diversity and synaptic types to the behavior of actual cellular networks. The central role of synapses in learning and memory is the subject of the fourth section of the book. The fifth and final section includes modeling studies of the single dendrite as well as novel analyses of synapses in networks. ... Read more

8. How We Know: Nobel Conference XX
by Nobel Conference 1984 (Gustavus Adolphus College), Michael G. Shafto, Gerald M. Edelman
 Hardcover: 171 Pages (1986-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$27.47
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Asin: 006250777X
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9. Morphoregulatory Molecules (Neurosciences Institute Publications Series)
by Gerald M. Edelman, Bruce A. Cunningham
 Hardcover: 660 Pages (1990-03)
list price: US$195.00
Isbn: 0471512613
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This volume reviews the cellular and morphogenetic effects of the expression of adhesion molecules. Its chapters summarize the progress made in our understanding of the structure, function and genetic control of the three families of molecules involved in adhesion - cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), substrate adhesion molecules (SAMs) and cell junctional molecules (CJMs). The text will benefit cell and molecular biologists. ... Read more

10. The Cell in Contact: Adhesions and Junctions as Morphogenetic Determinants (The Neurosciences Institute publications series)
by Gerald M. Edelman, Jean-Paul Thiery
Hardcover: 516 Pages (1986-03-12)
list price: US$59.50 -- used & new: US$49.94
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Asin: 0471838721
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This volume, which results from a conference held at the Neurosciences Institute, addresses a central issue in developmental biology that is of particular relevance to the formation of the nervous system. It focuses on cell adhesion molecules, substrate adhesion molecules, and cell junctional molecules, on the regulation of their expression, and on their roles in key events during embryological development. ... Read more

11. Molecular Bases of Neural Development (The Neurosciences Institute publications series)
by Gerald M. Edelman, etc.
 Hardcover: 616 Pages (1985-05-22)
list price: US$122.50
Isbn: 0471815616
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Emphasizing cellular interactions at the molecular level, this volume presents work on the embryological development of the nervous system. It contains sections on primary processes in early development, on the role of glia and cell migration in the central nervous system and in the periphery, of the formation of neurites and synapses, the development of the retinotectal map, and molecular genetic approaches to analysis of neural development. Included are examples from both vertebrate and invertebrate development, and experimental results on the complex pattern of temporal and spatial interactions that give rise to the adult nervous system. ... Read more

12. Biologie de la conscience
by Gerald M. Edelman
 Paperback: 368 Pages (1992-09-09)

Isbn: 2738101771
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13. Gehirn und Geist. Wie aus Materie Bewusstsein entsteht.
by Gerald M. Edelman, Giulio Tononi, Susanne Kuhlmann-Krieg
Hardcover: 380 Pages (2002-02-20)
-- used & new: US$32.95
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Asin: 3406488366
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14. Neural Darwinism: Theory of Neuronal Group Selection (Oxford paperbacks)
by Gerald M. Edelman
 Paperback: 394 Pages (1990-04)

Isbn: 0192860895
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This work presents a radical new view of the function of the brain and nervous system. It suggests that the nervous system in each individual operates as a selective system resembling natural selection in evolution but operating different mechanisms. By providing a fundamental neural basis for categorization of the things of the world it unifies perception, action and learning. This theory revises our view of memory, considering it as a dynamic process of recategorization which has implications for the various psychological states from attention to dreaming. It will stimulate discussion about the mind-body problem, the origins of knowledge and the perceptual bases of language. The author won the 1972 Nobel Prize for Physiology of Medicine. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Serious and robust
It seems complicated, but it is not. Edelman deserves to be read. Precise and humble writing. Strong arguments.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grounding Psychology in Neuroscience
Nobelist Gerald Edelman "theory of neuronal group selection" can be taken to provide a neurological understanding for psychoanalytic theory and experience. Because of the dense overlapping of dendrites and
axons in gray matter, a given area of cortex is capable of a varying
array of responses to a given input. Of the many possible responses,
one inevitably leads to the strongest, most adaptive, or rewarding
output. Suppose that this "fittest" response were "selected" for

synaptic changes enhancing the likelihood of future firing of just
that pattern of response when the same or similar input next arrives.
That pattern of function would have "won" in a Darwinian competition
to dominate the activity of that group of neurons when those same or
similar experiential conditions occur again. (I hope the reader can
hear in this a basis for transference experience: the neuronal response previously selected, perhaps by childhood experience,will be reactivated again in the future under specifically evocative conditions.)

We can thus anticipate a direct neurophysiologic account for how
"object relations" may in part derive from internalized__introjected__ experiences with objects and with their functions. Each experience in present real time consists of, is generated by,and resides in the activation of neural groups, interconnected in an ad-hoc network, distributed throughout the brain anatomically, and thus involving many functions of sensation, perception, motor function, emotion and cognition. The specific functioning of that network just then may be in effect "selected" by facilitative synaptic changes; its components might be be predisposed to fire together again under the right conditions.

Reentrant signalling over anatomically complete loops probably allows
anatomically distributed (distant) neuronal groups continuously to
communicate with one another and to synchronize their activities,
according to Edelman. Groups active in one area (eg, visual) can thus
reciprocally excite and cause synaptic enhancement of groups in a
separate area (eg, tactile). Edelman points out that particular
patterns of response in one brain "map" (consisting of many groups)
thus can become functionally associated with particular patterns in
other(s). Responses to present inputs can thus be linked to previous
patterns , across maps. Thus, a sight can stimulate the memory of a
touch. A sound, perhaps a spoken word or melody (obviously lots of unaddressed complexity here) can stimulate and reactivate a visual, operational,or cognitive memory, and, "inscribing" on it in the present, change it.

A mapping of many such selected groupscouldthus provide the neurophysiologic correlate to and substrate for unconscious object representations, which could potentially, if laterreactivated, be expressed as affect-full object-related fantasies, impulses, and behaviors, potentially conscious, yet, perhaps exerting a neurologic influence thatcould remain unconscious.

A potentially responsive neural network representing past experience
will be activated, Edelman theorizes, if current input is a "good
enough match" to previous input which led to the original synaptic
enhancement. That is, if enough of its neighboring, or synaptically
linked, groups are activated ("the present context"), it will be
activated too.Thus, the present experience is categorized according to previous experience. Thus, presentation of a current object (eg, the
analyst) may activate a sufficient number of groups previously
functionally related in experience of the original object ( eg, a
parent), and thus a "memory",specific feeling state, or a behavioral repetition may arise.

This perhaps provides some neurophysiologic correlate to Charles Spezzano's recent observation that,"the immediate
situation is idiosyncratically and unconsciously put by us into a category of
situations and it is this idiosyncratic and unconscious categorizing that
leads to the feeling we have... Still, the patient may hear us saying that,
while we see them putting the immediate event into a category that leads to
a feeling, we don't understand why it has to be put into that category (don't
understand in the sense that we see how it could just as easily be put into
other unconscious meaning categories and is categorized by the patient in an

idiosyncratic way, maybe one we trace historically..."

How does the daily free-associative process work? The superolateral prefrontal cortex, "connected to a multitude of (remote) sensory association areas and limbic and paralimbic cortex," apparently may address andretrieve representations of memories from many fields distributed in the brain.It has been shown in pet scan studies consistently to be activated in tasks which are not run by external stimuli, ie, it is activated in tasks (eg, "visualize walking down your street and turning left at the corner") requiring organization by the brain itself of itself. (ROland, 1993)

In Edelman's model, the continuous reciprocal communication via reentrant signalling betweenmaps of neural groups activated in current experience and those previously enhancedand synchronized in past experience (eg, with the original objects) allows the two sets reciprocally to "translate" or to "inscribe" their activities upon one another. This furthers our account of the brain activity in free association. The functional interaction between maps may permit continuous rearrangement according to unpredictable variations in the environment, (eg, the analyst's challenging an accustomed assumption, or "destabilizing a compromise formation", with a question, or action.) THus, past and present are recategorized in terms of one another, producing change in neurologic and thus in psychic structure. The present real experience with and of the analyst thus can "insinuate itself" into the prior arrangements ( the prior neuro-psychic structure), necessarily reorganizing the object relations constellation (transmuting internalization).

"We do not simply store images or bits but become more richly endowed with the capacity to categorize in connected ways." (Rosenfeld, 1986)Increasing the number of neural arrangements by which one experience is compared to, contrasted with, and categorized according to prior experience or fantasy allows greater richness and flexibility in functioning, one result of a successful psychoanalysis.

Samuel T. Goldberg, M.D.
Baltimore-Washington Institute for PSA

4-0 out of 5 stars Not an easy read, but worth the effort
Mike Vanier's experience with Edelman's prose gave the typical bioassayresult: its hard to read Edelman's books. I often try to imagine the stateof mind of people in 1875 who tried to wade through Darwin's "Originof Species" or someone who came across the work of Gregor Mendel inthe 1890's. Unfortunately for the Science of Mind, Mike is just the kind ofperson Edelman might have hoped to be able to reach. Well, Mike, did youread right through the Bible (or substitute "Your First CalculusTextbook" for "Bible") the first time you picked it up?There really is a forest in "Neural Darwinism" once you get pastthe trees.

The claim "his ideas are neither new, nor original, norcorrect" is one of the standard put-downs of the academic world.Anyone who works on non-trivial scientific issues and is intelectuallyhonest will admit that his work in based on ideas taken from others andthat his work is incomplete and contains errors. Edelman makes theseadmissions. Edelman's ideas about how brains can learn and function toproduce what we experience as minds are positive contributions to scienceand worth getting to know.

1-0 out of 5 stars Deliberately obfuscated nonsense.
I got about one-third of the way through this book, and then just couldn'tcontinue.This is without a doubt the worst science book I've ever (triedto) read.Edelman goes out of his way to use unnecessarily long, ponderousphrases to describe simple concepts.This is presumably meant to impressyou, but personally it makes me wonder what the author is trying to hide. How about this: that his ideas are neither new, nor original, nor correct.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
Superlative.Outstanding scientific thinking and a must read for every neuroscientist.A few parts are too scantily discussed, but the text is (overall) of the highest caliber ... Read more

15. EDELMAN, GERALD M. (1929- ): An entry from Gale's <i>World of Microbiology and Immunology</i>
 Digital: 2 Pages (2003)
list price: US$5.90 -- used & new: US$5.90
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Asin: B002BL5GIC
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This digital document is an article from World of Microbiology and Immunology, brought to you by Gale®, a part of Cengage Learning, a world leader in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses.The length of the article is 1621 words.The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase.You can view it with any web browser.Covers the concepts, theories, discoveries, and pioneers in microbiology and immunology, using a mix of traditional academic and topical articles, this title addresses current ethical, legal, and social issues with special emphasis given to biological warfare and terrorism. ... Read more

16. Biography - Edelman, Gerald M. (1929-): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 6 Pages (2007-01-01)
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Asin: B0007SBG62
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Word count: 1718. ... Read more

Paperback: 304 Pages (1994)

Isbn: 0140172440
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18. Molecular Machinery of the Membrane
 Paperback: 65 Pages (1975-01-01)

Isbn: 0262550067
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Neurosciences Research Program (NRP) was founded in 1962 as an inter university organization under the sponsorship of MIT. Its primary aim was to bring together the disparate neural and behavioral sciences in a unified neuroscience. This is one of the fastest-growing and most important areas in science. Every three years NRP holds an international Intensive Study Program to present significant aspects of the field and to stimulate research in all areas pertaining to neuroscience. The first program was held in 1966 and reported in The Neurosciences: A Study Program; the second was held in 1969 and is contained in The Neurosciences: Second Study Program (both books are published by Rockefeller University Press, New York). This Third Study Program is based on the most recent NRP conference that took place in Boulder, Colorado, during the summer of 1972.

The Neurosciences: Third Study Program covers twelve topics that have been selected as especially significant and catalytic trends in neuroscience research. These range across the various levels of organization of the nervous system—molecular, cellular, and behavioral. The topics are: Hemispheric Specialization and Interaction; Feature Extraction, Detection, and Behavior; Higher-Order Sensory Processing; Sensorimotor Integration; Invertebrate Neurons and Behavior; Circadian Oscillations and Organization in Nervous Systems; Hormonal Factors in Brain Function; Biochemistry and Behavior; Molecular Machinery of the Membrane; Regulatory Biochemistry in Neural Tissues; Dynamics of Synaptic Modulation; and Interaction of Brain Cells and Viruses.

Each topic has been organized and developed by a team of eight scientists (a chairman, three senior scientists, and four fellows with five years' post-doctoral training), and the contributors are selected from a huge international field. The book emphasizes an integrated, cross-disciplinary treatment of each subject area so unusual in its multidisciplinary scope that it will interest people in psychiatry, pharmacological psychology, physiological psychology, neuroanatomy, experimental embryology, physiology, neurophysiology, cell biology, neurochemistry, immunochemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, physical chemistry, physics, and mathematics. ... Read more

19. Dynamic Aspects of Neocortical Function (The Neurosciences Institute Publications Series)
 Hardcover: 728 Pages (1985-01-16)
list price: US$95.00
Isbn: 0471805599
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20. Das Licht des Geistes. Wie Bewusstsein entsteht
by Gerald M. Edelman
Hardcover: 187 Pages
-- used & new: US$94.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3530421820
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