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The Soul in the Brain

The Cerebral Basis of Language, Art, and Belief

Michael R. Trimble, M.D.

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In this provocative study, Michael R. Trimble, M.D., tackles the interrelationship between brain function, language, art—especially music and poetry—and religion. By examining the breakdown of language in several neuropsychiatric disorders, he identifies brain circuits that are involved with metaphor, poetry, music, and religious experiences. Drawing on this body of evidence, Trimble argues that religious experiences and beliefs are explicable biologically and relate to brain function, especially of the nondominant hemisphere.

Inspired by the writings and reflections of his patients—many of…

In this provocative study, Michael R. Trimble, M.D., tackles the interrelationship between brain function, language, art—especially music and poetry—and religion. By examining the breakdown of language in several neuropsychiatric disorders, he identifies brain circuits that are involved with metaphor, poetry, music, and religious experiences. Drawing on this body of evidence, Trimble argues that religious experiences and beliefs are explicable biologically and relate to brain function, especially of the nondominant hemisphere.

Inspired by the writings and reflections of his patients—many of whom have epilepsy, psychosis, or affective disorders—Trimble asks how the human species, so enamored of its own logic and critical facilities, has held from the dawn of civilization strong religious beliefs and a reverence for the arts. He explores topics such as the phenomena of hypergraphia and hyper-religiosity, how religious experiences and poetic expression are neurologically linked with our capacity to respond to music, and how neuropsychiatric disorders influence behaviors related to artistic expression and religiosity by disturbing brain function.

With the sensitivity of a dedicated doctor and the curiosity of an accomplished scholar, Trimble offers an insightful analysis of how the study of people with paradigmatical neuropsychiatric conditions can be the cornerstone to unraveling some of the mysteries of the cerebral representations of our highest cultural experiences.

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The Soul in the Brain

Michael R. Trimble, M.D.

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Reviews

Reviews

This book exists... to explain matters of the heart using our knowledge of the mind... A host of professional students, clinicians, educators, and other well-read individuals will find this worthy of a close and careful read.

Perfect for either college-level collections strong in science, health, or social science and for public lending collections alike... An intriguing, lively survey.

A highly thought-provoking excursion through neuroscience, philosophy, and culture.

This scholarly, yet provocative, book from an insightful, observant neurologist... is rich with thought-provoking ideas.

It is hard to imagine reading this book carefully without being enriched by the experience.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
304
ISBN
9781421411897
Illustration Description
12 halftones, 7 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Where Did It All Begin?
2. The Neuroanatomy of Emotion
3. Language and the Human Brain
4. The Other Way of Using Language
5. The Breakdown of Language
6. Music and the Brain
7

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Where Did It All Begin?
2. The Neuroanatomy of Emotion
3. Language and the Human Brain
4. The Other Way of Using Language
5. The Breakdown of Language
6. Music and the Brain
7. Neurotheology I: Epilepsy
8. Neurotheology II: Other Neurological Conditions
9. God, Music, and the Poetry of the Brain
Epilogue
Appendix I: Brief Biographies of Some Poets with Bipolar Disorder
Appendix II: Some Notable Religious Poets
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Michael R. Trimble, MD

Michael R. Trimble, MD, is professor emeritus of behavioral neurology at University College London's Institute of Neurology. He is the author of The Intentional Brain: Motion, Emotion, and the Development of Modern Neuropsychiatry, also published by Johns Hopkins.
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