The Compassionate Brain
How Empathy Creates Intelligence
Publication Date: June 13, 2006
List Price: $18.95*
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The brain, according to current research, is not some kind of automatic machine that works independently of its user. In fact, the circuitry of the brain actually changes according to how one uses it. Our brains are continuously developing new capacities and refinements or losing them, depending upon how we use them. Gerald Huther takes us on a fascinating tour of the brain's development from one-celled organisms to worms, moles, apes, and on to us humans showing how we truly are what we think: our behavior directly affects our brain capacity. And the behavior that promotes the fullest development of the brain is behavior that balances emotion and intellect, dependence and autonomy, openness and focus, and ultimately expresses itself in such virtues as truthfulness, considerateness, sincerity, humility, and love.
Huther's user's-manual approach is humorous and engaging, with a minimum of technical language, yet the book's message is profound: the fundamental nature of our brains and nervous systems naturally leads to our continued growth in intelligence and humanity.
“The Compassionate Brain presents readers with a ‘user’s-manual’ for the brain, an evolutionary overview of its development and role in human culture, and a heartfelt plea for its intelligent and merciful use. This is the first of Hüther’s books to be translated into English. Let’s hope this fascinating and provocative treatise is not his last.” —Body and Soul