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Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time
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W. W. Norton & Company 2017
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"Beautifully written, eloquently reasoned.... Mr. Buonomano takes us off and running on an edifying scientific journey."—Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal


In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, leading neuroscientist Dean Buonomano embarks on an "immensely engaging" exploration of how time works inside the brain (Barbara Kiser, Nature). The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time, but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological movement and enables "mental time travel"—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. This virtuosic work of popular science will lead you to a revelation as strange as it is true: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/04/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780393247954
ASIN:
B01HDSU0GK
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APA Citation (style guide)

Dean Buonomano. (2017). Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time. W. W. Norton & Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Dean Buonomano. 2017. Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time. W. W. Norton & Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Dean Buonomano, Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time. W. W. Norton & Company, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Dean Buonomano. Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time. W. W. Norton & Company, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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"Beautifully written, eloquently reasoned.... Mr. Buonomano takes us off and running on an edifying scientific journey."—Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal

In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, leading neuroscientist Dean Buonomano embarks on an "immensely engaging" exploration of how time works inside the brain (Barbara Kiser, Nature). The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time, but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological movement and enables "mental time travel"—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. This virtuosic work of popular science will lead you to a revelation as strange as it is true: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.
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title
Your Brain Is a Time Machine
fullDescription

"Beautifully written, eloquently reasoned.... Mr. Buonomano takes us off and running on an edifying scientific journey."—Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal

In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, leading neuroscientist Dean Buonomano embarks on an "immensely engaging" exploration of how time works inside the brain (Barbara Kiser, Nature). The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time, but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological movement and enables "mental time travel"—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. This virtuosic work of popular science will lead you to a revelation as strange as it is true: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Thomas MacMillan;New York
      • content: [Buonomano] lays out the latest, best theories about how we understand time, illuminating a fundamental aspect of being human.
      • premium: False
      • source: Carol Tavris;Wall Street Journal
      • content: Beautifully written, eloquently reasoned.... With lucidity and flair—not to mention an appealing avoidance of the reductionism and exaggeration to which many pop-neuroscientists are prone—Mr. Buonomano takes us off and running on an edifying scientific journey.
      • premium: False
      • source: Chris Impey, astronomer and author, University of Arizona
      • content: Dean Buonomano has a light touch and a sure hand in addressing complex scientific issues. Your Brain Is a Time Machine is filled with vivid examples of how time weaves its web in the physical world and in our brains. Even though the brain is a crude timekeeper compared to an atomic clock, its projection of cumulative experience into models of the future is a profound human capability. Buonomano is equally adept in describing the thermodynamic arrow of time and the basis of temporal reasoning in neuron circuits. Intriguingly, he argues that our conscious construct of time may shape physical theories of time. The book is a pleasure for anyone interested in the deepest questions about how the brain and the universe work.
      • premium: False
      • source: Diana Kwon;Scientific American
      • content: Buonomano lays out a wealth of complex concepts in an entertaining, digestible way.... [This] book will make you question your own perceptions and marvel at the fact that your brain is probably 'the best time machine you will ever own.'
      • premium: False
      • source: Barbara Kiser;Nature
      • content: Immensely engaging.
      • premium: False
      • source: Anil Ananthaswamy;New Scientist
      • content: Full of delicious details.... Reading Buonomano's book, it's hard not to marvel at how time and timekeeping pervade our existence.
      • premium: False
      • source: Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
      • content: Why does time seem to flow from moment to moment? It's a mystery because physics tells a different story: time simply is, a passive label on different parts of the universe. Dean Buonomano cooks a rich stew of ideas, from philosophy to neuroscience, to help understand this question, and thereby paint a clearer picture of our place in the physical world.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jonathan Blott;Lancet Neurology
      • content: The beauty of this book is Buonomano's seamless leap from the fields of biology and psychology into the world of physics. Never appearing out of his depth, he grapples with the subject's most infuriating question: what is time?
      • premium: False
      • source: Georgina Edwards;Chemistry World
      • content: Buonomano's ambition is inspiring and his writing is rich.... [Your Brain Is a Time Machine] hits the ambitious target of being both thorough and accessible.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 20, 2017
        Buonomano (Brain Bugs), a neuroscientist and professor at UCLA, explores how our brains shape our perception of time, as well as how time itself has shaped our brains. Evolved for optimizing our survival, our brains mark the passage of time and remember the past, using that knowledge to predict the future. For example, Buonomano notes that upon hearing a list, a person will assume that the items in it have occurred in the same order in which they were listed. How our brains process language is dependent on how they process patterns in time. A person’s internal, circadian clock is fueled by biology through a neurological “feedback loop” that is stabilized by chaotically shifting signals in the brain. For a neurologist, this is all pretty common knowledge. Things get really intriguing for readers when Buonomano looks at how our sense of time fits into our comprehension of spacetime, Einsteinian relativity, and the nature of the physical universe. Buonomano covers a lot of territory, but each section is vividly written and accessible, and he treats the most complex topics with refreshing clarity. Readers looking for a thoughtful and provocative exploration of time will find this a worthwhile resource.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 1, 2017
        What is the most important function of the human brain? Well, one takeaway from this lively book on that beloved organ is that it enables us "to predict and prepare for the future."Futurity, predestination, affordances: heady matters, indeed. But, at a more genial level of questioning, why does time fly when we're having fun? It moves, after all, at the same relentless pace as it does when we're experiencing misery. The answer lies in perception: when we're in the midst of something grueling, unpleasant, or dull, we think obsessively about how long it's taking. On the other hand, writes UCLA neuroscientist Buonomano (Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives, 2011), "as they unfold, interesting and engaging activities seem to fly by, in part because we are not thinking about time." Whether not thinking about time will make that airport delay any more tolerable may depend on other variables, but the point remains: for humans, governed by internal clocks rather than the ultraprecise atomic time scale that machines and economies depend on, time's passage is all about how we perceive it to be moving. Buonomano examines, for instance, the "slow-motion effect" in which time seems to slow to a crawl, as when, in his case, he suffered a bad car crash. He considers such events by means of competing hypotheses, one of which bears the suggestive name "metaillusion," and none of which undermines the larger point about perception. The author observes that almost every region of the brain is implicated to some extent in our ability to keep time, such that "most neural circuits are intrinsically able to keep time if needed." Writing in eminently accessible prose that is nonetheless backed by some fiercely hard-edged science, Buonomano also looks at a few thorny philosophical and epistemological problems through the lens of time, considering, for instance, whether free will is not really a matter of timing in decision-making. Fascinating throughout and a pleasing vehicle by which to think about thinking--and the passing hours.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2017
        Forget Doc Brown's DeLorean. Buonomano has discovered a more excitingand realtime machine inside of every human head! Peering through the neuroscientist's eyes, readers probe the neural circuitry of the prefrontal cortex, where neurons that helped early hominids navigate space have been astonishingly repurposed to traverse time. Who, indeed, will not marvel at how the human brain sustains entire networks of internal clocks so synchronized that they defy the natural pull toward temporal chaos? Only wondrous neural coordination gives split-second precision to a dancer's chasse, a pianist's glissando, or a comedian's punch line. Transcending anything found in other species, Homo sapiens' time sense allows us to envision the distant futureand our own inevitable death. In dissecting the neurological basis for that time sense, Buonomano and his colleagues hope ultimately to understand the conundrum we call consciousness and the riddle manifest in free will. A neurological understanding of time even offers a new perspective on Einstein's apparently timeless formulas explaining relativity. Armchair scientists must make time for this excursion!(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

subtitle
The Neuroscience and Physics of Time
popularity
217
publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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