The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves

The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves

A Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist’s probing investigation of what brain disorders can tell us about human natureEric R. Kandel, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational research into memory storage in the brain, is one of the pioneers of modern brain science. His work continues to shape our understanding of how learning and memory wor...

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Title:The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves
Author:Eric R. Kandel
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Edition Language:English

The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us about Ourselves Reviews

  • Dan

    This book does not pretend to be a comprehensive treatise on brain disorders. It is more like a multi-course tasting menu of interesting topics in cognitive neuroscience and should be savored as such.

  • Derek Davis

    Always like Kandel, from his textbooks to his personal revelations (the latter more so). As a rundown of the status of neuroscience today, this deserves a fifth star. He presents the material beautifully, so that even when technical terms (such as particular areas of the brain) are tossed in without full definition, the whole still carries you along with superb clarity.

    My only reservation is his stance that certain mechanisms of the brain have been firmly established, when, from what I've read e

    Always like Kandel, from his textbooks to his personal revelations (the latter more so). As a rundown of the status of neuroscience today, this deserves a fifth star. He presents the material beautifully, so that even when technical terms (such as particular areas of the brain) are tossed in without full definition, the whole still carries you along with superb clarity.

    My only reservation is his stance that certain mechanisms of the brain have been firmly established, when, from what I've read elsewhere, that's not necessarily the case. He's a staunch materialist (as am I), but I wonder if it doesn't make him want to believe that the neural and genetic foundations of the conditions he describes, such as Alzheimer’s, are solidly established and incontrovertible (are amyloid beta deposits definitely a cause of Alzheimer’s or a result or an association?).

    But it's as good an up-to-date look at the state of neurophysics in the brain as you'll find anywhere. I gained a lot of new insights (for instance, that my cat has likely damage to the lateral nucleus of his amygdala – and here I thought he was just nuts).

  • Ania Holubecki

    Good book for an overview, especially for those not in the field! Appreciated how Kandel would redefine concepts and terms as they came up instead of forcing readers to remember them from before. Also liked how the chapters were organized by processes that make up our mind, paired with disorders that result from abnormalities in those processes.

  • Jim

    I won this book on Goodreads. This book is fascinating, the topics include Alzheimer's, gender identity, Parkinson's, PTSD, bipolar, schizophrenia, autism and several other disorders. It may not be of interest to all readers but those who may find it interesting are readers who are curious about medicine, psychology, and science. I am involved in those fields so the studies interest me a great deal. This book covers genes and chromosomes which show how some of the same genes (duplication or dele

    I won this book on Goodreads. This book is fascinating, the topics include Alzheimer's, gender identity, Parkinson's, PTSD, bipolar, schizophrenia, autism and several other disorders. It may not be of interest to all readers but those who may find it interesting are readers who are curious about medicine, psychology, and science. I am involved in those fields so the studies interest me a great deal. This book covers genes and chromosomes which show how some of the same genes (duplication or deletion, mutations) causes certain risks for disorders. A worthwhile read and the book is of high quality.

  • Tony

    THE DISORDERED MIND. (2018). Eric R. Kandel. ****.

    I found this work to be a fascinating review of our existing knowledge of the brain and how it works. The author is currently a professor at Columbia University and a renowned researcher in the field of neurology. He was previously a winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. With a short introduction to his topic, he sets in to inform us of the current state of knowledge about the brain that has been learned through the study of vari

    THE DISORDERED MIND. (2018). Eric R. Kandel. ****.

    I found this work to be a fascinating review of our existing knowledge of the brain and how it works. The author is currently a professor at Columbia University and a renowned researcher in the field of neurology. He was previously a winner of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. With a short introduction to his topic, he sets in to inform us of the current state of knowledge about the brain that has been learned through the study of various diseases. I was amazed that so much was known about these various illnesses and how they were manifested through the actions of their sufferers. Of particular interest was his chapters on special talents possessed by people with these various illnesses that seem to develop to compensate for their lack of skills in other more normal areas. The author tends to recap the information in each chapter and finish it off with a section on ‘where we are now’ and ‘where we need to go next.’ This is an excellent look at the hottest science of the day, told in a manner that can be understood by the average aware reader.

  • Melise

    I read an ARC from NetGalley and Farrah, Straus And Giroux. Thanks!

    I am always interested in reading about the intersection of brain physiology and psychology/behavior. This book was a great overview of some of the most recent discoveries that shed light on physiological findings within the brains of people who have a number of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia or Huntington’s, who suffer from depression or anxiety, or who experience life in non-neurotypical ways, includi

    I read an ARC from NetGalley and Farrah, Straus And Giroux. Thanks!

    I am always interested in reading about the intersection of brain physiology and psychology/behavior. This book was a great overview of some of the most recent discoveries that shed light on physiological findings within the brains of people who have a number of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia or Huntington’s, who suffer from depression or anxiety, or who experience life in non-neurotypical ways, including people with autism or gender nonconformity.

    The author did a good job of clearly explaining these complex scientific issues for a lay reader and I, like the author find it very interesting how seemingly unrelated symptoms can be caused by similar physiological changes in the brain, such as the role that synaptic pruning plays in both schizophrenia and autism.

    The one element that seemed to be missing for me, however, was a stronger synthesis and suggestions about where these findings might lead in the future. There was a bit of this in the conclusion, but I would have liked to have read more.

    All in all, a good overview that helped me understand current discoveries in brain functioning.

  • Kristine

    You get the impression that, throughout this book, disorder is abnormal or there’s a baseline that everyone operates on and that there’s a select amount of people that are 'defective' with schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, dementia, PTSD, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and autism. Amid these conceptions, Kandel goes into neurological and cognitive findings, treatments, and patient disclosures, after telling

    You get the impression that, throughout this book, disorder is abnormal or there’s a baseline that everyone operates on and that there’s a select amount of people that are 'defective' with schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, dementia, PTSD, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and autism. Amid these conceptions, Kandel goes into neurological and cognitive findings, treatments, and patient disclosures, after telling of the origins/history of the aforementioned conditions.

  • Molly

    Received a review copy in exchange for my review. I wish I could leave a better one. The book is full of animal testing and psychiatric binaries of sick and well. It lacks an ethical framework in its treatment of humans and nonhuman animals necessary for the subject. There is some decent knowledge but not much that is new. I would not recommend this book to the layman or to someone with a background in psychology or neuroscience.

  • Corvus

    Goodreads removed my post for mentioning that Kandel is an animal abuser- a fact that is available in the book and online. I included

    conveniently left out of his bio. I mentioned that I was unaware of him being an animal exploiter and abuser when signing up for the giveaway. I didn't mention I worked in neuroscience myself before becoming disabled. Am I allowed to have an opinion about how this man subjects noncons

    Goodreads removed my post for mentioning that Kandel is an animal abuser- a fact that is available in the book and online. I included

    conveniently left out of his bio. I mentioned that I was unaware of him being an animal exploiter and abuser when signing up for the giveaway. I didn't mention I worked in neuroscience myself before becoming disabled. Am I allowed to have an opinion about how this man subjects nonconsenting animals to pain and suffering for his own interests now? I assume the publisher or author didn't actually want an honest review from the people they are giving out their goodreads giveaway copies to. Well, now it gets 1 star. Doesn't look like anyone else likes it much either.

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