The Naked Neuron: Evolution and the Languages of the Body and Brain

Synopsis

In the beginning there was not only life but the ability to communicate and eventually to cooperate among the most basic, primeval creatures. In The Naked Neuron Dr. Joseph - an internationally respected neuroscientist and author of the highly praised The Right Brain and the Unconscious: Discovering the Stranger Within - takes us on an intriguing journey through time as he traces the evolution of communication and language from the most primitive single-celled animals to our earliest ancestors to humans today. As he so clearly demonstrates, we are linked to all levels of animals in a common bond of sensing, feeling, and communication. Be it singing wolves, dancing bees, or writhing rock and roll dancers, all communicate a treasure chest of meaning in the absence of the spoken word. Approximately 700 million years ago, a unique type of cell came into being - the neuron. This "naked" neuron, or nerve cell, lacked a protective fatty sheath. Still, it marked a monumental and world altering development, since it would become the building block of the brain. The naked neuron generated a revolutionary change resulting in a greater complexity and subtlety of thought. Dr. Joseph vividly depicts how neurons conferred on early humans advanced powers of mental and sensory acuity, including the gift of remembering one's past and contemplating the future. Although humans possess much of the same ancient brain tissue as our fellow primates, Dr. Joseph reveals to us the singular features of the human brain that have enabled humans uniquely to develop complex, spoken language. He holds us spellbound, revealing that although the new and old brain tissue are couched within the same brain, each often has difficulty understanding the impulses and language of the other. This ground-breaking book draws on Dr. Joseph's brilliant and original research and theories, fusing the latest discoveries made in neuroscience, sociobiology, and anthropology. He illuminates how the languages of th

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1993

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