Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World

  • Hardcover
  • Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World
  • Chris Frith
  • 14 May 2019
  • 1405160225

15 thoughts on “Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World

  1. Kwinko Kwanko Kwinko Kwanko says:

    This book is awesome I study cognitive psychology at university and texts like this are usually boring and read like a text book This did not bore me in the slightest I am so glad that I bought this because it had explanations in it that just cleared up any confusion I had about the subject I found the author to have a very readable writing style and he could be very witty and funny I m glad there s someone out there who loves psychology just as much as I do and isn t afraid to show it

  2. Customer Customer says:

    Easy to read Not too technical but also include various study s for support Definitely require further ready for degree but perfect level for people outside the field Gives an excellent overview if you are studying the field.

  3. Erin N Erin N says:

    Perfect for my psychology class at uni Opens up a whole new world in terms of free will, and what we perceive to be happening around us versus what may actually be happening Fascinating stuff.

  4. barry marshall barry marshall says:

    A fascinating insight into how the brain works and how it fools us in to believing that we are actually experiencing out there out there rather than it all being in the mind This compelling read is backed with sound scientific evidence and argument, but is narrated throughout with the writers humour.

  5. Cathleen Diggle Cathleen Diggle says:

    Brilliant readable book.

  6. rayb76 rayb76 says:

    great read a very good buy

  7. Noddie Noddie says:

    I bought the kindle version of this book The content is easy to read both physically and intellectually, and presents a useful insight into the subject that could be readily followed up by using the extensive references provided.However, the illustrations and photo plates cannot be appreciated in Kindle format Also the text contains numerous spelling errors that look like finger trouble and I wonder if this is due to kindle isation or to sloppy editing of the original.

  8. Meyrick Sainsbury Meyrick Sainsbury says:

    However, the author is tied to ideas for which he feels there is good scientific evidence for there promotion, and so I feel he is holding back from being creative. He admits to shying away from trying to explain how the brain manages to be conscious.

  9. Customer Customer says:

    The second statement of the Four Noble Truth Buddhas first lesson goes the main cause of suffering is the delusional mind of man.Frith Principal Investigator at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging gives us some insight how the human mind works with Conceptions and Modells with shortcuts and predictions The 5th chapter is Our Perception of the World Is a Fantasy that Coincides with Reality and he proves it.In his book he demonstrates by means of very well selected and detailed examples how the brain makes up the mind, how we make up our world and our self.His book is very well written and for the educated layperson especially if the reader wants to understand how his own sight and feeling of the world is fabricated.This book is not about consciousness Frith

  10. Carolyn Thornlow Carolyn Thornlow says:

    The endorsements say that Professor Firth is a pioneer in applying brain imaging to the study of mental processing I think the operative word here is applying Firth does show off his knowledge of brain physiology, rendering drawings of the brain with the sections labeled and even showing slides of nerve cells and connecting fibers That s all well and good if they become relevant to a hypothesis I never became clear on their connections.I get the hypothesis that we create models of the world through confabulation I did like his explanation that only the middle of our retina has color sensitive neurons Objects perceived in the periphery can only be seen in terms of light and shade Therefore, when we recollect the image in full color and detail, it is the mind that compensates for the limitations of the data collecting tool, i.e the eye.Notice that as interesting and supportive of the hypothesis as this is, there is no need to refer back to sketches of the cortex or slides of nerve cells.He cites optical illusions as examples of how the brain sees or fails to see what is objectively and quantifiably true Here too, he does little to tie it back to the brain in order to explain why.I do appreciate his exposition on Bayesian theory and how it relates to learning, though there was weight assigned to Bayes personal life and a picture of his tombstone than in the summation of Bayes theorem I do know that Bayes was a statistician who assigned weights and values to phenomenon in order to predict and assay certainty Firth posits that we internally develop models of the world which by dint of their existence are imbued with certainty When something is perceived that is inconsistent with the internal model, we regard it as new evidence and update our model The thing is that there are many other scientists who say that there are other cognitive operations that get in the way of this actually happening.His tendency to dump data for data s sake must be what irritated his antagonist in this book Yes, this scientific book has an antagonist It s the combination of his trying to prove something personally, poor editing and lack of rigor that makes this book of a curiosity than the enlightening journey it should have been.

  11. Zachary Kroger Zachary Kroger says:

    When I first found this book, it took some convincing before I bought it The book is fairly expensive, and from looking at the chapter sections, the book seems to promise to explain the impossible and in a very short space.However, there was one other review, which was very positive I then learned that the book had been positively reviewed by both V.S Ramachandran and Oliver Sacks So I bought it, and I sure am glad I did To put it bluntly, this is by far the best book on the brain that I have ever read Don t get me wrong, I love the books by Sacks, Ramachandran, Pinker, etc and recommend them to people all of the time But as for overall readability, wittiness I laughed out loud numerous times , and extremely clear explanations of complicated topics, this book is tops There were a few things in the book I already knew about, but Firth explained them again in new ways I hadn t considered I was constantly blown away the awesome amount of information in each chapter.The book does exactly as the title promises, and explains from basically the ground up, what different parts of the brain do, how they do it, why they do it, and how we know and how this all comes together to make the mental world that we experience He addresses all of the common questions and objections that arise during discussing such topics, and even addresses why many scientists give psychologists such a hard time about being soft scientists , and why this is changing.So in conclusion, if you know nothing about the brain, or even if you know a lot about the brain, read this book I am sure that everyone will learn a TON from it, and enjoy it immensely I guarantee that you wont regret it.

  12. Winston P. Pewin Winston P. Pewin says:

    Introduction Making Up the Mind How the Brain Creates our Mental World by Chris Frith, in a nutshell, explores the mechanisms by which the brain perceives the outside world and what its implications are This review seeks to provide a synopsis of the book hopefully without spoilers as well as my personal opinion about the book All in all, I believe it was a well written book that made a good attempt at addressing perception from not only a psychological perspective, but a biological and philosophical perspective as well.Relatively spoiler free summaryThe book is divided into 5 sections a prologue, three parts, and an epilogue In the prologue, Frith talks about how neuroscience is interdisciplinary in that the knowledge inferred from it pertains to biology, chemistry, the social sciences, and even the liberal arts However he also points out, there is an unspoken hierarchy within the sciences as explained by Randall Munroe of xkcd making a distinction between hard sciences and soft sciences Historically, hard sciences such as physics and chemistry are objective and its results quantifiable, soft sciences are subjective, relying on personal accounts rather than quantifiable data However, quantifiable data pertaining to human perception became possible with the advent of new medical imaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging From here, he divulges into three main parts of the book.The first part of the book, titled Seeing through the Brain s Illusions, talks about the different means by which the brain fills in missing parts from the body s relatively crude sensory information The second part of the book, titled How the Brain Does It, focuses on internal factors that contribute to perception as well as evolutionary bases of why we perceive things the way we do The third part of the book, titled Culture and the Brain, talks about how these factors affect interpersonal communication and its impact on society and culture.Stylistic opinion of the bookGeorge W Bush once said that one of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures When taken out of context, this quote pertains to this book rather well It is hard enough to tell a person what they perceive, let alone do it in a book Thus, most if not all of the figures he includes with the text illustrate his points and examples rather eloquently The most common examples he uses are optical illusions While they are rather overused, Frith puts them into context by giving them psychological bases explaining why they appear the way they do Also, as every good scientist does, he cites experimental evidence conducted by others throughout his paper Where Frith differs from other scientists is that he explains this evidence in detail and in such a way that it s comprehendible, often including figures to illustrate experimental setups something that would ve been nigh impossible to convey to the reader through written words alone.Another thing that stood out was the abundance of footnotes laced throughout the book While many of them provide superfluous yet relevant information, others are either random factoids or interjections exhibiting the writer s wit I personally see this as a double edged sword I find Frist s humor both enjoyable and refreshing and made this book even enjoyable than it already is however, the footnotes interrupt the flow of reading the book and I found myself mildly frustrated a few times when I discovered a footnote bore no worthwhile information pertaining to what it claimed to annotate.One final thing that I found unique was the introduction of the Professor of English, a friend of the narrator The Professor of English was a recurring character that Frith used as a vehicle to deliver a philosophical or at least an unscientific viewpoint to challenge Frith s inferences on perception While extremely effective, I also find it funny how Frith, having a background in psychology and thus being at the lower end of the scientific food chain , was so quick to introduce a caricature he obviously didn t take 100% seriously.Materialistic opinion of bookFrith cites his sources for every claim I ve seen him make in this book For some of his examples, particularly the ones involving optical illusions, they aren t necessary however, they are necessary for some of the other claims he makes particularly those that don t come off as intuitive to the reader For example, Frith made a claim about how infants perceive actions as goal oriented and not movement oriented and cites a study by Bekkering, H et al where an experimenter told infants to imitate their actions So I can t help but agree with the claims he s made throughout the book because of the rigorous annotations he s made.Having said this, there is one thing where Frith s inferences aren t as airtight as I would like One thing I noticed was his claim that fMRI imaging made perception objective because the same areas of the brain show activity between different people with certain stimuli I don t think this is a failsafe way to infer that one person is thinking what another person is thinking because the functional topology of the cortex is ever changing Indeed, in talking about phantom limb syndrome, Frith speaks about the remapping of the cerebral cortex following the amputation of a limb, and that functional remapping is a normal process Since the topological areas of the cortex aren t strictly defined, there is a small yet real chance that the activation of the same brain area in two individuals may lead to two very different sensations However, the foremost expert in phantom limb syndrome V.A Ramachandran did give this book a positive review, calling it a fascinating guided tour through the elusive interface between mind and brain written by a pioneer in the field I guess if he s okay with it, I m okay with it.Final thoughtsFrith s book talks about a very complicated topic human perception and delivers it in a very concise and accessible manner As a biomedical engineer in training with a heavy concentration in neuroscience, I found this book somewhat light when it came to describing the neural mechanisms of perception however, I also believe that any further elaboration on the matters may alienate a reader who didn t have my background Even so, I feel I learned a lot about how humans and animals perceive the world and how our brains fill in the blanks that our sensory periphery leaves out Thus, I feel that anyone, be it someone who has a college level understanding of neuroscience or a layperson who wants to learn about human perception, would be able to learn a lot about themselves and their surrounding world.

  13. Customer Customer says:

    I have been reading material on brain processes by neural scientists Ramachandran, Damasio, etal and computer scientists Hawkins and Frith complements and supplements the perspectives of these other authors This book retained my interest from Frith s candid beginning admission that psychology is a soft, subjective science to his ending discussion of altruism and freewill The author knows the biases inherent in his own mental view of the mind but nevertheless manages to present a consistent story of how unconscious processes may work based on experimental evidence The breadth of Frith s coverage is also admirable He discusses the nonlinear construction of the Parthenon a visual illusion , rehashes Libet s classic free will experiment, Bayesian conditional probability theory as a possible neural process, Shannon s information theory, and the importance of prediction backward feedback processes to enhance forward paths All in all this is a book worth reading.

  14. T. Bachman T. Bachman says:

    Every once in a while, I read a book which performs a sort of miraculous feat It sets out to do the seemingly impossible, and then not only does so, but does so in a way which seems almost effortless.Chris Frith s book The Making Up The Mind is like this Its task is nothing less than to explain how the brain creates our mental world to a popular but educated audience and in the space of 193 pages, he actually does it Along the way, he references dozens of the most important studies on conscious unconscious perception, computation, self image construction, etc., extracting from them their most relevant points, and weaves them into an engaging narrative characterized as much by its clarity as by its genial tone.A few particular personal high points in this book Frith s tidy explanation of Bayesianism, his remarks on the inevitability of pre judging, the brain as a cultural organ, and most of all, his chapter on prediction evaluation mechanisms.When I started the book, I kept a pencil handy so as to underline all the most important sentences concepts By the time I was done reading it, my book looked like a band of hypergraphic monkeys had gotten hold of it, so full of circles and lines and scribbled notes was it.Verdict five big stars.

  15. P. Rawat P. Rawat says:


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Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental WorldWritten by one of the world s leading neuroscientists, Making Up the Mind is the first accessible account of experimental studies showing how the brain creates our mental world Uses evidence from brain imaging, psychological experiments and studies of patients to explore the relationship between the mind and the brain Demonstrates that our knowledge of both the mental and physical comes to us through models created by our brain Shows how the brain makes communication of ideas from one mind to another possible

About the Author: Chris Frith

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