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The Domesticated Brain: A Pelican Introduction (Pelican Books) [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Hood
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

What makes us social animals?

Why do we behave the way we do?

How does the brain influence our behaviour?

The brain may have initially evolved to cope with a threatening world of beasts, limited food and adverse weather, but we now use it to navigate an equally unpredictable social landscape. In The Domesticated Brain, renowned psychologist Bruce Hood explores the relationship between the brain and social behaviour, looking for clues as to origins and operations of the mechanisms that keep us bound together. How do our brains enable us to live together, to raise children, and to learn and pass on information and culture? Combining social psychology with neuroscience, Hood provides an essential introduction to the hidden operations of the brain, and explores what makes us who we are.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1657 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141974869
  • Publisher: Pelican (1 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141974869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141974866
  • ASIN: B00I9PVKI4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 11 Jun. 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The «Domesticated Brain» is a must-read for all those who look to understand our common evolutionary past and the evolution of our brain. This work should be required reading for every evolutionary scientists. I strongly recommend this book to all my colleagues and to my students.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No brain is an island 25 Jun. 2014
By F Henwood TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, the title of this book needs clarifying: what does the author mean by ‘domesticated’? The human brain is not domesticated in the sense your dog is domesticated – it means that the brain has evolved because we are social animals. So the book opens with a startling fact: our brains have been getting smaller as we have become more social. Does that mean we are getting dumber? No, it is not size that counts but density, especially in the number of connections the brain is able to make. Some mammals have brains almost as large as ours, bigger even, but they are no way near as powerful or as complicated as the ones we possess. And our brains are complicated because our social nature is complicated. We humans make deals with one another, keep score, sign contracts, invent dress codes, morals, ethics, religions, political parties, sporting teams and so much else besides, and devise all manner of laws, codes and customs to regulate relations among ourselves. No other animal does all that.

This is why we feel things like shame and embarrassment (emotions that have not been detected among our nearest relatives). We see how peer culture shapes children’s development. Parents are right to be concerned at what sort of company their children keep. To the age-old question of whether it is nature or nurture, then the answer is that it’s both, but with a twist. Your environment can determine which genes are switched on – epigenetics. These in turn can be passed to your offspring. It’s still Darwin and not Lamarck – if you are blacksmith, your children won’t inherit your muscular biceps. But if you have a gene for strong arms, you might pass that on, if the gene for them is activated, and they might grow strong biceps, if they make use of them. The same goes with the brain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 12 Feb. 2015
By GeoffC2
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very worthwhile all-round. Those who are interested in the social influences on the evolution of the brain would find this of great benefit, I think. In small compass, the author has condensed much current scholarship and research evidence into an easily readable and very cheap book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just an intreoduction 6 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The ideas put forward in this book rang true for me and put forward explanations to many of my own general observations and ideas
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