Altered Egos: How the Brain Creates the Self

Paperback | April 15, 2002

byTodd E. Feinberg

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In Altered Egos, Dr. Todd Feinberg presents a new theory of the self based on his first-hand experience as both a psychiatrist and neurologist. Feinberg introduces dozens of intriguing cases of patients whose disorders have resulted in what he calls "altered egos": a change in the brain that transforms the boundaries of the self. He describes patients who suffer from "alien hand syndrome" where one hand might attack the patient's ownthroat, patients with frontal lobe damage who invent fantastic stories about their lives, paralyzed patients who reject and disown one of their limbs. He then argues that the brain damage suffered by these people has done more than simply impair certain functions--it has fragmented their sense ofself. From these fascinating cases, Feinberg proposes a new model of the self that links the workings of the brain with unique and personal features of the mind, such as meaning, purpose, and being. Drawing on his own and other evidence, he explains how the unified self, while not located in one oranother brain region, arises out of the staggering complexity and number of the brain's component parts. Lucid, insightful, filled with fascinating case studies and provocative new ideas, Altered Egos promises to change the way we think about human consciousness and the creation and maintenance of human identity.

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From the Publisher

In Altered Egos, Dr. Todd Feinberg presents a new theory of the self based on his first-hand experience as both a psychiatrist and neurologist. Feinberg introduces dozens of intriguing cases of patients whose disorders have resulted in what he calls "altered egos": a change in the brain that transforms the boundaries of the self. ...

Todd E. Feinberg, M.D. is Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Chief of the Betty and Morton Yarmon Division of Neurobehavior and Alzheimer's Disease at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:April 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195152425

ISBN - 13:9780195152425

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Soul Searching2. Deconstructing the Self3. Missing Pieces, Familiar Places4. Mything Persons5. Auto-Bodies6. Keeping it All Together7. Journey to the Center of the Mind8. The Nested Hierarchy of the Self and Mind9. Being and Brain10. The Living Mind

Editorial Reviews

"Altered Egos combines philosophy and psychology with case histories of neurological and psychiatric patients to paint a novel picture of how the brain makes the self. It's fascinating reading, start to finish." --Joseph E. LeDoux, Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, New YorkUniversity, and author of The Emotional Brain