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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight of a book; it widens and exercises the mind
I bought this book two years ago. It is the only non-fiction text I have not ben able to put down. The subject itself is fascinating, but Rita Carter shares her own excitement with us. The text is daring in that it deals with difficult concepts and makes no concessions to those of us who gave up science more years ago than we care to dmit on public but Rita Carter has...
Published on 26 Dec 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A valuable but hard read
it's heavy going and not very brain friendly - packing the science in was more important than presentation - ironically in my view. Valuable stuff and presented in a useful narrative.
Published on 2 Nov 2011 by Clare


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight of a book; it widens and exercises the mind, 26 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Paperback)
I bought this book two years ago. It is the only non-fiction text I have not ben able to put down. The subject itself is fascinating, but Rita Carter shares her own excitement with us. The text is daring in that it deals with difficult concepts and makes no concessions to those of us who gave up science more years ago than we care to dmit on public but Rita Carter has the gift of making clear in elegant ptrecise language concepts and processes that are not onl;y utterly absorbing to learn about, but also raise questions about what it is to be conscious, what religious experince really entails etc. I have to stop here. Though I've read the book several times, I no longer have it to hand. I am a secondary schoolteacher(of English) and I took my copy in to school to read at break. To my complete surprise, every student who came in the room wanted to see it. It was handed round the class, discussed - bits of biology fitted in...etc. Of course, I lent it out. A book they were pleading to read! (Tempted to take out a mortgage and buy them each a copy!) So many are on the list to read it, I shall have to get another copy for myself. It is patently not a student's book, but the subject obviously appeals so much that they are prepared to make the effort. In this, I think the visual layout of the book helps - difficult text is broken up with diagrams, case-studies etc and the pages are colourful. The many diagrams are especially well done. This is a book no 15yr old should feel ashamed to pinch from his teacher - a guaranteed cert to get your son reading, I would think. But read ALL of it first - you'll never get it back!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book ever written on the brain., 22 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Hardcover)
The classic problem with books written about the brain is the immense complexity of the subject. Up until Mapping the Mind, the best that readers could hope for was a puzzling armada of medical plates, or a friendly, but equally puzzling, pen and ink sketch and an accompanying himalaya of text.
At last! This difficulty is overcome in Mapping the Mind by accessible, lucid writing, and staggeringly beautiful illustrations, which, as anyone who ever had a brilliant teacher intuitively knows, could only be done by someone who completely understands the subject. The illustrations are simply incredible.
The alienation felt at reading overly mechanical, scientific books on one's own brain is immensely disappointing; after all, the subject matter was our own unexplored mind, in which we invested everything, yet from many a hopeful journey through these books we return as empty handed as we came. The pervading impression is that perhaps the brain is a dull, mechanical confusion after all, in which we were mistaken to be so curious.
But after reading Mapping the Mind, it dawns that the understanding is not beyond grasping, and better, that the subject is now, to one's great relief, as fascinating, beautiful and full of wonder, as we knew it should be. The book is inspiring, a first, and is bound to be of interest to everyone.
Probably the best book ever written on the brain!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into the brain, 18 Oct 2006
This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Paperback)
Rita Carter is a medical journalist who writes extremely well. Her ability to grasp and communicate the most fascinating and intriguing aspects of the human brain brings her subject to life. Rita uses case studies of real people that are easy and fun to read, while at the same time presenting a thorough explanation of the scientific information and terms.

A couple of gems:

- In the 1930s-1940s, Egas Moniz pioneered the brain operation known as the leucotomy (which later evolved into the more radical lobotomy) to relieve symptons such as depression, schizophrenia and mania. Post-op, patients became quiet and friendly. However, it didn't always cure aggression: Moniz's career was brought to an abrupt end when he was shot by one of his own lobotomized patients.

- Alexithymia is a condition where a person feels emotion but cannot express it through facial expressions and voice tone. People who have this condition might say, in quite a neutral tone: "I am very angry." Then, aware that the statement has some short-coming, they might add: "and I mean it".

I run courses about thinking skills for business (e.g. Mind Mapping, memory and speed-reading) and have found that this book gives me excellent background knowledge to back-up what I teach. I use stories and snippets of information from the book to help to emphasise what I am teaching. A great book if you are interested in knowing more about the human brain.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - please write an up-to-date version, 22 July 2009
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This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Paperback)
This still seems to me to remain by far the best way into catching up with current understanding on the brain - except that time has moved on (first published 1998); I suspect there would be a good market for an 'updated version'.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating. Both easy reference and well explained., 7 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Paperback)
As accurate as a 16th century map of the world, this text brings together current research and more speculative theories about how the brain really works. It includes its development - a section I would like to see expanded, especially into adolescence. It gives explanations about how different chemicals enable it to work, which helps understanding of diseases such as Parkinson's, or Schizophrenia, and conditions such as dyslexia. It also discusses the perceptual differences which make each of us individual. I particularly like the images of infant brain development (not realising that the brain actually is still growing), the explanations of the different kinds of scans, and the chapters on vision and on memory. I use it in the school library (admittedly a grammar school), to show pupils how their brains grow, and that their decisions about what they spend their time doing will actually affect what kind of intelligence they will develop. It is well written, and easy to follow. The diagrams are very clear. It is well indexed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinates and enthuses without confusing - a nice light intro!, 12 Sep 2013
By 
R. WEST-SOLEY "Rich West-Soley" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Kindle Edition)
A book that captures the real excitement and wonder of modern neuroscience and brain research. I found it a bit journalistic / pop-sci magazine in style, although that makes it perfect for an enthusing introduction to the topic, or a light read for the curious. It was suggested to me as prep reading for a university Psychology course, and it certainly did the trick of firing me up for further study.

It's a blend of the author's own pulling-together of lots of recent research, as well as many bite-sized but fascinating contributions inserted throughout the book by experts in the field. There are also plenty of real-life case studies thrown into the mix, which illuminate the processes highlighted in each chapter. It makes for a light, but compelling journey through the physiology of the mind.

One word about the Kindle edition, though - it's not ideally formatted in the electronic version, consisting of page scans rather than the actual electronic text. As such, go for the hard copy unless you have a Kindle or tablet with a large enough screen to read it comfortably.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fascinating and easy to understand, 10 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Hardcover)
At first I thought this would be another `Brief History of Time' - a scientific book that everyone buys but many fail to finish. I was wrong, it's absolutely fascinating, even for people like me who hated science at school, and very readable. It makes it easier to understand the way our minds - and our children's minds - work. I'd expect it to become another `Longitude' - a specialist subject turned into a best-seller.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars describes whats really going on, 16 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mapping the Mind (Paperback)
This book cuts through the convoluted theories about our behaviour and by measuring reactions to circumstances with brain scans gives us a clue to what really makes us tick.. A refreshing and clear read and very illuminating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great work, 1 May 2013
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This review is from: Mapping the Mind (Paperback)
this is a wonderful book from an exceptional scientist who believes explicitly in the scientific method. We now know more about the brain than anyone could have imagined ,and the modern version of her book is another painstaking work of love . someone once weighed a body before and after death to determine the weight of the soul . we have come a long way since then . I was so fascinated by recent developments in imagery and the diagrams add an extra dimension . Erudite discussion of issues from dyslexia to altzheimers make this an essential book for anyone who wishes to know about modern developments in our thinking about the workings of the brain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A valuable but hard read, 2 Nov 2011
By 
Clare (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mapping The Mind (Paperback)
it's heavy going and not very brain friendly - packing the science in was more important than presentation - ironically in my view. Valuable stuff and presented in a useful narrative.
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Mapping The Mind
Mapping The Mind by Rita Carter (Paperback - 12 Aug 2010)
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