Non-Fiction Books:

Animals, Brains and Cultures

A Novel ABC of Human and Other Animal Nature and Behaviour



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Animals, Brains and Cultures by Doug Fenwick
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Using common every-day examples, this book explains human and other animal nature and behaviour in terms of a four-component brain/mind theory. It describes how all animals from reptiles to humans possess similar primitive core brain structures that control vital bodily functions and behavioural drives. Thirteen such drives are identified across species. A simple theory is expounded to explain how sensory residues enter the cerebral cortex, and how regurgitation of these sensory residues into short-term memory is what we refer to as mental-imaging - the basis of all thought, conversation, planning and expectations, and the trigger for emotional feedback and feelings. A step-by-step process is used to define and establish that there is such a thing as a self-image which is every bit as important to us as our physical bodies. The ability to build sequences of scenarios in our minds represents higher thinking or rationalising. It partly uses this understanding to make sense of civilisation as the inevitable result of these primitive drives, and why there are rules forcing us to modify those drives. It describes how a social milieu of confusion, deception and double standards has developed as a corollary of the restrictions of civilisation. It makes sense out of the apparent paradox of love and hate, the confusion over freedom and rights, the roles of nature and nurture in personality, why we do not all have identical personalities, why it is difficult to change our firm beliefs, what is reality, and what is the 'truth'. A few everyday examples show how we can use this understanding of our psychosocial surroundings to help us with problems.
Release date NZ
February 25th, 2009
Country of Publication
Trafford Publishing
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