Cover of: Beyond the Brain | Louise Barrett
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Beyond the Brain

How Body and Environment Shape Animal and Human Minds

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Published by Princeton University Press in Princeton, N.J .
Written in English.

About the Edition

"When a chimpanzee stockpiles rocks as weapons or when a frog sends out mating calls, we might easily assume these animals know their own motivations--that they use the same psychological mechanisms that we do. But as Beyond the Brain indicates, this is a dangerous assumption because animals have different evolutionary trajectories, ecological niches, and physical attributes. How do these differences influence animal thinking and behavior? Removing our human-centered spectacles, Louise Barrett investigates the mind and brain and offers an alternative approach for understanding animal and human cognition. Drawing on examples from animal behavior, comparative psychology, robotics, artificial life, developmental psychology, and cognitive science, Barrett provides remarkable new insights into how animals and humans depend on their bodies and environment--not just their brains--to behave intelligently. Barrett begins with an overview of human cognitive adaptations and how these color our views of other species, brains, and minds. Considering when it is worth having a big brain--or indeed having a brain at all--she investigates exactly what brains are good at. Showing that the brain's evolutionary function guides action in the world, she looks at how physical structure contributes to cognitive processes, and she demonstrates how these processes employ materials and resources in specific environments. Arguing that thinking and behavior constitute a property of the whole organism, not just the brain, Beyond the Brain illustrates how the body, brain, and cognition are tied to the wider world"--

"This book illustrates how the intelligent behaviour of animals doesn't necessarily depend on having a big brain; having the right kind of body and exploiting the right kinds of environmental resources can be equally important"--

Table of Contents

Removing ourselves from the picture
The anthropomorphic animal
Small brains, smart behavior
The implausible nature of Portia
When do you need a big brain?
The ecology of psychology
Metaphorical mind fields
There is no such thing as a naked brain
World in action
Babies and bodies
Wider than the sky.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
QL933 .B27 2011

The Physical Object

x, 270 p. :
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
LC Control Number
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December 28, 2019 Edited by DriniBot correct titles
July 17, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
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April 6, 2014 Edited by ImportBot Added IA ID.
October 23, 2011 Created by LC Bot Initial record created, from Library of Congress MARC record.