In Joseph LeDoux’s The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories. Now, the. Joseph LeDoux has made yet another attempt to span this chasm (here scaled to the dimensions of the synaptic cleft) in Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become. In Joseph LeDoux’s The Emotional Brain presented a revelatory examination and the mechanism of self-awareness, Synaptic Self is a provocative and.

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In this book the author takes an in-depth look at neuroscience staring from it’s ledojx beginnings of the dualist theories of Descartes mixed in with the empirical work of Cajal and Golgi.

In Joseph LeDoux’s “The Emotional Brain” presented a revelatory examination of the biological bases of our emotions and memories.

SYNAPTIC SELF: How Our Brains Become Who We Are

I found myself needing to go slow and reread some paragraphs as the sheer number of new terms could be somewhat overwhelming. LeDoux is probably the best technical writer I have come across. It’s the homunculus rearing his ugly head. LeDoux No preview available – Stay in Touch Sign up.

In the presence of high cortisol, these cells do not regenerate. How these circuits behave determines how we feel, think and behave, and this is ultimately determined by what is happening at the synapses.

The neural machinery that LeDoux describes would be blind and mute if something about the human brain did not insist on this ontogenetic Catch Despite ongoing debate about the root cause of psychological disorders, most agree that the development of the self is central to the distinction between normality and psychopathology.

I had a little trouble reading about the various ways that scientists discover things about the brain. If you’ve read Pinker’s How the Mind Worksimagine a more neuroscientific explanation of much of the material covered in that book.

Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are

He is at his best on emotion, the subject of his excellent book The Emotional Brain, and his studies on fear using animal models are of particular importance.

I’m hoping Jaak Panksepp’s book will fill in some newer details on this. Jo “Cutting edge” in the field of applied neurobiology to psychological-emotional development, and the role of synapses in the brain specifically.

Mar 02, Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference Shelves: In no-way a “light-reading”, it takes a lot of focusing to read it. I’d say if the author wants to find a broader audience, the prose could be looser. LeDoux’s magnificently intelligible joining of parts is most seductive; but I am still bothered by lesoux doubts. But in general if you really want to know more about the brain without going back to school, and are willing to put in the work for a read like this, it’s well worth it.


A somewhat difficult but worthwhile book on a fascinating topic. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU.

This book provides a concise, well-written overview of the brain from the past to the very present and is an approachable read for anyone with the time. Neuroanatomy, cellular neurophysiology, neurotransmitter pharmacology, systems physiology, behavioural psychology, functional brain imaging, clinical neurology and psychiatry are all duly painted in. A wealth of information about the brain and the way that it communicates.

While there are certainly elements of truth in that philosophy, I think that’s being unfair to many of books that really do kedoux fantastic job of ledlux people to these synaptif without forcing them to be an expert. The bottom line of Joseph Ledoux’s Synaptic Self is that we are our synapses. In his final chapter, LeDoux rightly rejects the notion of a coordinating homunculus, crouched somewhere inside the skull, in favour of a set of seven organizational principles that confer plasticity on parallel synaptic networks and permit the brain to reinvent itself as it learns.

I do question how much I will retain since much of the language used and names of various regions were new to me and without reinforcement am guessing will be lost.

The author provides different views on theories and then gives his own opinion on the controversial theories in q This book is riveting.

His work on the wiring and role of the amygdola lays the basis for his ideas, but this is a strong base. He works mainly on the workings of the brain in the presence of fear and states of anxiety, and his findings are based on this research. In a nut shell, LeDoux makes his argument that Hebbian plasticity is alive and well and that the mechanism for learning and memory synaptlc located at the synapses through the action of the neurotransmitters.

I particularly found the chapter on mental illnesses to be informative.

A different view from Hobson’s is that synaptjc many suffering from autism have special skills in, for example, maths and music, their mode of thought is biased towards local rather than social thinking. I’m not afraid to say that parts of this book were very complicated. His own contribution, based on two decades of research, begins with the startlingly simple premise that the self-the essence of who a person is-intricately reflects patterns of interconnectivity between neurons in the brain.


I wouldn’t say that this is a book to read “for fun. The interaction of different neural loci such as the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex are pictured as creating interconnecting networks that craft our responses to the uoseph, both external and internal. I would put this book into the category of “interesting, but not fun to read. Jan 20, Anima rated it really liked it. Synaptic Self, while almost certianly a simplified version of what Ledoux understands about the field, is not for the lay reader.

Observer review: Synaptic Self and The Cradle of Thought | Books | The Guardian

Having built-up the ideal functioning brain Joseph LeDoux then presents multiple points where healthy functioning can be interrupted to give rise to disease states. There is an enormous area of unexplored territory. This read will be a delight for anyone interested in taking a deeper look into why we are the way we are. Either I need more neuroscience classes or LeDoux needs to dumb it down to make it accessible to the non-scientists among us.

The classic test for this involves putting a sweet in a red box in front of John and Mary and then sending Mary out of the room. But the book’s central point is very well presented: It is manifestly not an answer to the question posed by its title.

Love is a many-moleculed thing

The Best Books of The author of The Emotional Brain elaborates on the theory that the particular patterns of synaptic connections in our brain provide the keys to who we are. Overall this book did a wonderful job in fundamentally describing the brain from biochemistry to mental processing. Synaptic Self was a perfectly challenging read. Sometimes he uses entire pages guiding you through some specific circuit with all the back and forth that characterizes our messy brains, and it does so with a very technical language.