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The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization

The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization by Michael C. Corballis
2011 | ISBN: 0691145474 | English | 304 Pages | EPUB | 3 MB
The Recursive Mind challenges the commonly held notion that language is what makes us uniquely human. In this compelling book, Michael Corballis argues that what distinguishes us in the animal kingdom is our capacity for recursion: the ability to embed our thoughts within other thoughts. "I think, therefore I am," is an example of recursive thought, because the thinker has inserted himself into his thought. Recursion enables us to conceive of our own minds and the minds of others. It also gives us the power of mental "time travel"–the ability to insert past experiences, or imagined future ones, into present consciousness.

Drawing on neuroscience, psychology, animal behavior, anthropology, and archaeology, Corballis demonstrates how these recursive structures led to the emergence of language and speech, which ultimately enabled us to share our thoughts, plan with others, and reshape our environment to better reflect our creative imaginations. He shows how the recursive mind was critical to survival in the harsh conditions of the Pleistocene epoch, and how it evolved to foster social cohesion. He traces how language itself adapted to recursive thinking, first through manual gestures, then later, with the emergence of Homo sapiens, vocally. Toolmaking and manufacture arose, and the application of recursive principles to these activities in turn led to the complexities of human civilization, the extinction of fellow large-brained hominins like the Neandertals, and our species' supremacy over the physical world.

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Advances in Understanding Mechanisms and Treatment of Infantile Forms of Nystagmus

Advances in Understanding Mechanisms and Treatment of Infantile Forms of Nystagmus by R. John Leigh and Michael W. Devereaux
English | ISBN: 0195342186 | 2008 | PDF | 240 pages | 4,8 mb
This volume brings together work from leading researchers in the fields of developmental disorders of binocular vision, strabismus, and both infantile and acquired forms of nystagmus. It contains four sections.

The first section, Basic Concepts of Stable Vision and Gaze, deals with psychophysical aspects of infantile forms of nystagmus and the relative contributions of extraocular proprioception and efference (corollary discharge). It also contains an accessible review of current notions of spatial and temporal visual functions and spatial constancy in infantile nystagmus syndrome and latent nystagmus. The second section, New Models and Techniques for Studying Gaze Stability, reviews animal and development models for strabismus, amblyopia, and nystagmus.

It also contains novel optical methods for managing the visual consequences of nystagmus and a study of the potential ill effects of video displays on children's response to near viewing. The third section, New Therapies for Congenital Nystagmus, presents basic genetic studies and clinical trials of drug and surgical treatment of those patients with infantile forms of nystagmus. The final section,General Aspects of Normal and Abnormal Gaze Control, pulls together a range of contributions dealing with normal gaze control, infantile nystagmus, and acquired disorders of eye movements, including new treatment measures. This book will be a valuable resource for all scientists and practitioners interested in developmental disorders of vision.

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