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Books

Psychobiology


The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays On The Biology Of The Human Predicament

The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays On The Biology Of The Human Predicament Lowest new price: $9.04
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List price: $16.00
Author: Robert M. Sapolsky
Brand: Scribner

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

From the man who Oliver Sacks hailed as “one of the best scientist/writers of our time,” a collection of sharply observed, uproariously funny essays on the biology of human culture and behavior.

In the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould and Oliver Sacks, Robert Sapolsky offers a sparkling and erudite collection of essays about science, the world, and our relation to both. “The Trouble with Testosterone” explores the influence of that notorious hormone on male aggression. “Curious George’s Pharmacy” reexamines recent exciting claims that wild primates know how to medicate themselves with forest plants. “Junk Food Monkeys” relates the adventures of a troop of baboons who stumble upon a tourist garbage dump. And “Circling the Blanket for God” examines the neurobiological roots underlying religious belief.

Drawing on his career as an evolutionary biologist and neurobiologist, Robert Sapolsky writes about the natural world vividly and insightfully. With candor, humor, and rich observations, these essays marry cutting-edge science with humanity, illuminating the interconnectedness of the world’s inhabitants with skill and flair.

As a professor of biology and neuroscience at Stanford and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," Robert Sapolsky carries impressive credentials. Best of all, he's a gifted writer who possesses a delightfully devilish sense of humor. In these essays, which range widely but mostly focus on the relationships between biology and human behavior, hard and intricate science is handled with a deft touch that makes it accessible to the general reader. In one memorable piece, Sapolsky compares the fascination with tabloid TV to behavior he's observed among wild African baboons. "Rubber necks," notes the professor, "seem to be a common feature of the primate order." In the title essay of The Trouble with Testosterone, Sapolsky ruminates on the links, real or perceived, between that hormone and aggression.

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The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection

The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection Lowest new price: $17.68
List price: $26.00
Author: Scott C. Anderson

Written by the leading researchers in the field, this information-rich guide to improving your mood explains how gut health drives psychological well-being, and how depression and anxiety can be relieved by adjusting your intestinal bacteria.

This groundbreaking book explains the revolutionary new science of psychobiotics and the discovery that your brain health and state of mind are intimately connected to your microbiome, that four-pound population of microbes living inside your intestines. Leading medical researchers John F. Cryan and Ted Dinan, working with veteran journalist Scott C. Anderson, explain how common mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety, can be improved by caring for the intestinal microbiome. Science is proving that a healthy gut means a healthy mind—and this book details the steps you can take to change your mood and improve your life by nurturing your microbiome.

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Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Biological Psychology

Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Biological Psychology Lowest new price: $35.00
Lowest used price: $26.40
List price: $105.00
Author: Bob L. Garrett

Brain & Behavior: An Introduction to Biological Psychology showcases our rapidly increasing understanding of the biological foundations of behavior, engaging students immediately with easily accessible content. Bob Garrett uses colorful illustrations and thought-provoking facts while maintaining a “big-picture” approach that students will appreciate. Don’t be surprised when they reach their “eureka” moment and exclaim, “Now I understand what was going on with Uncle Edgar!”

Praise for the Second Edition of Brain & Behavior:

"Great book- excellent instructional design and graphics with practical applications."—Robin Steed, MA, LOTR, Louisiana State University Health Science Center

“My students liked the organization of Garrett. They thought it was easy to read and an appropriate resource for this course.” —Charles Long, University of Memphis

“I have been searching for a book that would thoroughly treat all of the concepts in brain and behavior while also being easy enough for the student to read without becoming overwhelmed. I think that the Garrett text might be an answer to my problem.” —Natalie Ceballos, Texas State University

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The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People Lowest new price: $12.17
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List price: $19.99
Author: David P. Barash
Brand: David P Barash

Applying new research to sex in the animal world, esteemed scientists David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton dispel the notion that monogamy comes naturally. In fact, as The Myth of Monogamy reveals, biologists have discovered that for nearly every species, cheating is the rule -- for both sexes.

Reviewing findings from the same DNA fingerprinting science employed in the courtroom, Barash and Lipton take readers from chickadee nests to chimpanzee packs to explain why animals cheat. (Some prostitute themselves for food or protection, while others strive to couple with genetically superior or multiple mates.) The Myth of Monogamy then illuminates the implications of these dramatic new findings for humans, in our relationships, as parents, and more.

The Myth of Monogamy at last brings scientific insight into this emotionally charged aspect of the ultimate dating and marriage quandary.

Shattering deeply held beliefs about sexual relationships in humans and other animals, The Myth of Monogamy is a much needed treatment of a sensitive issue. Written by the husband and wife team of behavioral scientist David P. Barash and psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton, it glows with wit and warmth even as it explores decades of research undermining traditional precepts of mating rituals. Evidence from genetic testing has been devastating to those seeking monogamy in the animal kingdom; even many birds, long prized as examples of fidelity, turn out to have a high incidence of extra-pair couplings. Furthermore, now that researchers have turned their attention to female sexual behavior, they are finding more and more examples of aggressive adultery-seeking in "the fairer sex." Writing about humans in the context of parental involvement, the authors find complexity and humor:

Baby people are more like baby birds than baby mammals. To be sure, newborn cats and dogs are helpless, but this helplessness doesn't last for long. By contrast, infant Homo sapiens remain helpless for months ... and then they become helpless toddlers! Who in turn graduate to being virtually helpless youngsters. (And then? Clueless adolescents.) So there may be some payoff to women in being mated to a monogamous man, after all.

Careful to separate scientific description from moral prescription, Barash and Lipton still poke a little fun at our conceptions of monogamy and other kinds of relationships as "natural" or "unnatural." Shoring themselves up against the inevitable charges that their reporting will weaken the institution of marriage, they make sure to note that monogamy works well for most of those who desire it and that one of our uniquely human traits is our ability to overcome biology in some instances. If, as some claim, monogamy has been a tool used by men to assert property rights over women, then perhaps one day The Myth of Monogamy will be seen as a milestone for women's liberation. --Rob Lightner

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The Biology of Love

The Biology of Love Lowest new price: $34.62
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Author: Arthur Janov
Brand: Brand: Prometheus Books

In this revolutionary work, famed psychotherapist Arthur Janov, author of The Primal Scream, presents the first unified theory of psychology and brain chemistry. Relying on years of experience with patients and a great deal of evidence from psychology and neurology, Janov explains how love significantly affects not only psychological well-being but physical health and personality traits as well. In fact, its long-lasting biological effects critically influence brain structure and brain chemistry in the developing fetus and the growing child.

Janov's central thesis is that prenatal experience and birth trauma are imprinted on our nervous systems, and if this crucial period of life is beset by trouble and stress, whether mental or physical, the deep-seated effects can result in psychological problems or psychosomatic diseases later in life. By the same token, lack of love after birth, when the infant needs the touch of loving caresses, can be as injurious to the healthy development of intelligence and personality as lack of food. Janov cites scientific evidence to demonstrate how the formation of our nervous system, especially the complex neural connections of the brain, can be influenced by the presence or absence of a loving, nurturing environment, both before and after birth.

But beyond analyzing mental and physical ailments, this book is also about cure. Through Janov's unique therapeutic techniques, he enables patients to relive those critical periods of love deprivation that are at the root of their problems. 

This provocative, original work, synthesizing the latest neurological research and psychological theory with Dr. Janov's long experience of successfully treating patients, is understandable to the educated lay person and will be of great interest to professionals in medicine and psychology alike.

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The Fifteen Minute Hour: Practical Therapeutic Intervention in Primary Care

The Fifteen Minute Hour: Practical Therapeutic Intervention in Primary Care Lowest new price: $53.92
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Author: Marian Stuart

A practical, realistic 'how to" manual for effectively incorporating psycho-behavioral interventions into the brief office visit. A contemporary classic, this text combines the best in medicine and psychology to help practitioners treat the emotional components of ordinary medical disorders. The BATHE (Background, Affect, Trouble, Handling, and Empathy) technique, a screen for treatable psychiatric conditions as well as a therapeutic modality, fits easily into a regular patient visit. Case scenarios demonstrate how to use simple questions to elicit information while empowering the patient. Subjects covered include managing stress, handling difficult patients, increasing compliance and promoting both physical and mental health. Amply referenced and evidence based, this new edition provides coverage on the use of narrative therapy, cognitive restructuring, talking with adolescents, collaborative treatment, PTSD, and managing anxiety and depression by combining therapeutic talk with psychotropic medications.

  • A standard in the field for training primary care practitioners in the principles of biopsychosocial medicine.
  • Practical information is offered for the application of therapeutic interventions.
  • An easy-to-use approach is designed to fit into a standard, fifteen minute office visit.
  • The highly-respected authors bring with them over 60 years of combined experience.
  • Listed on the "best sellers list" of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine since its introduction in 1986.
  • All chapters have been updated with new references and new case material.
  • A brand-new chapter on the use of psychotropic medication includes material on herbal products.
  • Important material has been added on treating anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • New charts specify doses and side effects for a range of antidepressants.
  • New material has been added on the use of narrative therapy, a variety of stress management techniques, cognitive restructuring, talking with adolescents, collaborative treatment, empowering patients, focusing on lifestyle changes, and maximizing the potential for achievement.

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Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation

Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation Lowest new price: $9.39
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Author: Glenn Wilson
Brand: Brand: Peter Owen Publishers

A key study in the psychobiology of sexual orientation and its true causes.
Since the ground-breaking work of Simon LeVay and Dean Hamer in the early 1990s, a tremendous amount of new research has been carried out by scientists who now understand a great deal more about the biology of sexual attraction. In this book the authors show that attempts to find a sociological cause for homosexuality have little foundation and argue that popular efforts to blame parents or teachers for a child's homosexuality are futile and unjust. Combining their own findings with all the available quantifiable research, the authors have, with this study, provided an urgently needed addition to the major work that has been done in this field.

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Behavioral Neurobiology: The Cellular Organization of Natural Behavior

Behavioral Neurobiology: The Cellular Organization of Natural Behavior Lowest new price: $67.67
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Author: Thomas J. Carew
Brand: Brand: Sinauer Associates

This text provides treatment of the neural basis of behaviour. The pedagogical premise of the book is that general insights into the neuronal organization of behaviour can be gained by examining neural solutions that animals have evolved to solve problems encountered in their particular environmental niche. "Behavioural Neurobiology" does not presume a strong biological background, and is therefore suitable for a general undergraduate audience. However, the material is treated in sufficient depth to make the book useful for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in behavioural neurobiology or neuroethology as well.

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Hormones and Behaviour: A Psychological Approach

Hormones and Behaviour: A Psychological Approach Lowest new price: $9.94
Lowest used price: $8.94
List price: $65.99
Author: Dr Nick Neave
Brand: Brand: Cambridge University Press

Recent advances in non-invasive sampling techniques have led to an increase in the study of hormones and behaviour. Behaviour is complex but can be explained to a large degree by interactions between various psychological and physiological components, such as the interplay between hormonal and psychological systems. This new textbook from Nick Neave offers a detailed introduction to the fascinating science of behavioural endocrinology from a psychological perspective, examining the relationships between hormones and behaviour in both humans and animals. Neave explains the endocrine system and the ways in which hormones can influence brain structure and function, and presents a series of examples to demonstrate how hormones can influence specific behaviours, including sexual determination and differentiation, neurological differentiation, parental behaviours, aggressive behaviours and cognition. This introductory textbook will appeal to second and third year social science undergraduate students in psychology and biomedicine.

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The Birth Of The Mind: How A Tiny Number Of Genes Creates The Complexities Of Human Thought

The Birth Of The Mind: How A Tiny Number Of Genes Creates The Complexities Of Human Thought Lowest new price: $11.00
Lowest used price: $3.50
List price: $26.00
Author: Gary Marcus

In The Birth of the Mind , award-winning cognitive scientist Gary Marcus irrevocably alters the nature vs. nurture debate by linking the findings of the Human Genome project to the development of the brain.Startling findings have recently revealed that the genome is much smaller than we once thought, containing no more than 30,000-40,000 genes. Since this discovery, scientists have struggled to understand how such a tiny number of genes could contain the instructions for building the human brain, arguably the most complex device in the known universe. Synthesizing up-to-the-minute biology with his own original findings on child development, Marcus is the first to resolve this apparent contradiction by chronicling exactly how genes create the infinite complexities of the human mind. Along the way, he dispels the common misconceptions people harbor about genes, and explores the stunning implications of this research for the future of genetic engineering.Vibrantly written and completely accessible to the lay reader, The Birth of the Mind will forever change the way we think about our origins and ourselves.

The Human Genome Project has revealed that we possess a surprisingly small number of genes, especially in light of our fairly complex bodies. In The Birth of the Mind, NYU psychology professor Gary Marcus brings together current research on how our genetic code assembles that most mysterious physiological structure, the brain. Readers fascinated by the works of Steven Pinker and other mind theorists will be fascinated by Marcus' descriptions of strange--and sometimes disturbing--sensory experiments carried out on chimps, ferrets, and kittens that show how the brain organizes itself in the presence or absence of external stimuli. Further, Marcus writes that there's nothing particularly special about how the brain is built and maintained.

What's amazing is how little of the overall scheme for embryonic development is special to the brain. Although thousands of genes are involved in brain development, a large number of them are shared with (or have close counterparts in) genes that guide the development of the rest of the body.

With plenty of evidence supporting the notion of multi-function "housekeeping genes," Marcus concludes that our hopes for finding single genes responsible for various brain disorders are likely unfounded. The Birth of the Mind offers an engaging and often witty look at how our genetic code can be simple enough to make basic proteins and complicated enough to help us learn languages. --Therese Littleton

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