The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul

Francis Crick, Author Scribner Book Company $25 (317p) ISBN 978-0-684-19431-8
Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Crick (co-discoverer with James Watson of DNA's double helix structure) here takes readers to the forefront of modern brain research. Geared to serious lay readers and scientists, this speculative study argues that our minds can be explained, without recourse to religious concepts of a soul, in terms of the interactions of a vast assembly of nerve cells and associated molecules. Crick delves into the nature of consciousness by focusing on visual awareness, an active, constructive process in which the brain selectively combines discrete elements into meaningful images. Early chapters include numerous interactive illustrations to demonstrate the brain's shortcuts, tricks and habits of visual perception. In later chapters Crick discusses neural networks--electronic pathways that can ``remember'' patterns or produce spoken language--and outlines research strategies designed to pinpoint the brain's ``awareness neurons'' that enable us to see. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/1994
Release date: 01/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-684-80158-2
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4391-2518-2
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