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Psychology - Cognitive Psychology | Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship (Reviews)

Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship

Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Santana Santos, Franklin (Eds.)

2012, XXIX, 243 p. 35 illus., 5 illus. in color.

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"Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship is an important contribution. It provides a balance of the purely physical analyses of consciousness with the psychobiological. In this way, it attempts to bridge mind philosophy with science. It empirically examines transcendent phenomena, such as mystical altered states, near-death experiences, end-of-life, mediumistic experiences, and past-life memories. Consequently, this book’s 12 chapters confront the hard scientific dilemmas, and its cast of scientists should be commended."

Vernon M. Neppe
Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute
Journal of Parapsychology
Vol. 77, no. 1., Spring 2013

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"Alexander Moreira-Almeida and Franklin Santana Santos have edited an excellent volume of essays, all written from a nonphysicalist perspective. Two major strengths of the book are: (1) the inclusion of parapsychology as a science particularly suited to work on the mind–body problem; and (2) recognizing the contribution of spiritual experiences, including experiences near death, to the mind–body problem. Such approaches are too often ignored by ‘mainstream’ philosophy and science."

Michael Potts
Methodist University
Fayetteville, NC, U.S.A.
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research
Vol. 77.1, No. 910

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"The chapters are well written, clear and concise, with accessible language for the general public. Although they can be read individually, the different chapters have been integrated to allow the reader to follow the argumentation, leading them to the main point of the book which is a critique of the use of a purely reductionist and materialistic view to understand certain experiences of the human mind... I congratulate the editors and authors for this work and recommend this book not only to those interested in this topic, but also to those who want to have a broader view on a variety of human experiences and their implications for clinical practice."

Homero Vallada
Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry University of Sao Paulo Medical School (FMUSP), Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica
Rev. psiquiatr. clín. vol.40 no.2 São Paulo  2013

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"This book is recommended as a ‘must read’ - not just because its editors represent the scientific, scholastic and spiritual traditions of Brazil... but because its content summarises a raging controversy in this field and helps the reader to cross boundaries... The Editors have done a good job in throwing down the gauntlet to the materialist researchers."

John Cox
Psyche and Spirit
Vol 2. Issue 1. February 2013

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"This is an unusually good post-conference book and would be an excellent way into the relevant concepts and literature. An underlying theme is that a reductionist, materialist approach is inadequate to explain certain experiences – mind is more than a product or epiphenomenon of the brain. Most scientists adopt a materialist view or so-called ‘promissory materialism’ (that this belief will be scientifically demonstrated in the future), but we are reminded here that science should not be conflated with materialism."

Roger Farmer
The British Journal of Psychiatry
February 2013 202:159
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“This is an excellent series of discussions, heavily referenced from relevant research publications, considering diverse views of the relationships between mind and brain. It includes sections on  hilosophy and History; Physics; Functional Neuroimaging; and Human Experiences.

The strengths of this book are in its careful dissection of dualistic theories of consciousness, demonstrating their limitations and deficiencies and in its consideration of consciousness transcending the physical body. The well argued and well referenced analyses of  eductionistic theories of mind-brain relationships would be helpful to anyone seriously asking questions about whether mind is anything  more than a manifestation of the brain.”

International Journal of Healing and Caring
September, 2012, Volume 12, No. 3
Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHMEditor-in-Chief

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“The book’s theme is widely interesting. Hardly anyone in contact with the human mind won’t be interested in the mind-brain relationship. Whether a lay person, a practitioner or researcher, or out of mere curiosity, that person will certainly be drawn to the book. It is an invitation to satisfy our curiosity about the mysteries of the human mind.”

Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Official Journal of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association
Volume 34, Number 3, August/2012

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“Although dogmatic materialism is the monarch of contemporary Western philosophy and science, contributors to this splendid book remind me of the brash lad in the classic fable who shouted, "But the emperor has no clothes!" Some readers will agree with this observation while others will find it an outrageous heresy. But as they wend their way through each articulately stated and meticulously argued chapter, they will never succumb to boredom. It is the type of book that will haunt its readers long after the last chapter is read.”

Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University
Co-editor,  Debating Psychic Experience: Human Potential or Human Delusion?  

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“This is really a thorough and up-to-date study of so-called anomalous spiritual phenomena. Instead of reducing these phenomena into exceptions to the general rule, the authors do not hesitate to widen the frame of interpretation. As is argued against a naïve epistemological stance, their open-minded inquiry is really a challenge and the authors managed to give us a fruitful perspective on their scholarly and multidisciplinary well documented efforts. I recommend this book to all psychiatrists, as well as professionals in theology and psychology of religion.”

Peter J. Verhagen, M.D.
Psychiatrist
Chair of the World Psychiatric Association Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry

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“It has become almost of a mantra in recent years to repeat that consciousness and mind are caused by brain processes and that it is only a matter of time before the neurosciences reveal all there is to know about them. As this important book shows, the fact that we now know a lot more about brain correlates of mental processes has not changed a number of awkward problems for a purely materialistic account of the mind, including how to solve the hard problem of consciousness and explain ordinary processes such as memory or less ordinary processes such as apparent psi phenomena. The contributors to this volume cover the essential areas in this discussion (philosophy, history, contemporary neuroscience, physics, and various anomalous experiences) and provide a cogent and scientifically based discussion that evidences that mind-brain relationships are far from definitely “explained” or obvious as a number of materialist authors have opined recently.”

Etzel Cardeña, Ph.D.
Thorsen Professor, Lund University, Sweden
Co-editor of Altering Consciousness: A Multidisciplinary Perspective and Varieties of Anomalous Experience.

 

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