Nature's Mind: The Biological Roots of Thinking, Emotions, Sexuality, Language, and Intelligence

Michael S. Gazzaniga, Author Basic Books $25 (220p) ISBN 978-0-465-07649-9
Gazzaniga believes that circuits for language and problem-solving were built into the human brain as the result of millions of years of evolution. Selection theory, which this Dartmouth professor of psychiatry espouses, goes even further: it maintains that we are born with all the world's complexity built inside us; what, to the outsider, seems like learning, is merely a matching process, as the organism searches through its library of circuits to select the most suitable strategy for a given external challenge. In an accessible treatise that takes the nature vs. nurture controversy to a new extreme, Gazzaniga ( The Social Brain ), using selection theory, dismantles psychoanalysis, chides doctors for not heeding the body's innate wisdom, and offers explanations for drug addiction, alcoholism, dieting, hypersexed behavior and compulsions. He advises parents to ``set a context for opportunity'' and to let the child do the rest. Emphasizing ``feeling-in-control'' as a key to well-being, he suggests that ``disempowering'' institutions such as welfare and homes for the elderly can be detrimental. Photos. Library of Science alternate. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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