Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain: Separating fact from fiction

Paperback | January 30, 2007

EditorSergio Della Sala

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Does listening to Mozart make us more intelligent? Is there such a thing as a gay gene? Does the size of the brain matter? Does the moon influence our behaviour? Can we communicate with the dead? Can graphology tell us anything about a person's character? Is the human brain clonable? What roledo dreams have in cognition? Can mind conquer matter and diseases? Are out-of-body experiences possible? Can we trust our intuitions? To some, the answer to all these questions might well be a resounding 'no', but to many people these represent serious beliefs about the mind and brain - beliefs that drive their everyday behaviour, beliefs that cost them huge amounts of money. Whole industries have developed founded on thesedubious claims about the mind and brain. Even major corporations have dabbled with assessment methods such as those advocated by graphology, accepting and rejecting candidates on the basic of their handwriting. Expectant parents buy books and tapes by the dozen showing them how to improve theintelligence of their child by playing them classical music. People subscribe to expensive therapies founded on beliefs rather than science, or risk their health buying books that tell them how they can conquer illness through positive thinking, perhaps at the expense of more scientifically proventreatments. Tall Tales about the Mind and Brain presents a sweeping survey of common myths about the mind and brain. In a lighthearted and accessible style, it exposes the truth behind these beliefs, how they are perpetuated, why people believe them, and why they might even exist in the first place.

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Does listening to Mozart make us more intelligent? Is there such a thing as a gay gene? Does the size of the brain matter? Does the moon influence our behaviour? Can we communicate with the dead? Can graphology tell us anything about a person's character? Is the human brain clonable? What roledo dreams have in cognition? Can mind conqu...

Editor of Cortex, Fellow Royal Society (Edinburgh) - FRSE, Fellow British Psychological Society - FBPsS

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:552 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.38 inPublished:January 30, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198568770

ISBN - 13:9780198568773

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Table of Contents

Part I - Where Do Tall Tales about the Mind and the Brain Come From?Sergio Della Sala and Barry L. Beyerstein: Introduction - the myth of 10% and other tall tales about the mind and the brain1. Christopher C French and Krissy Wilson: Cognitive factors underlying paranormal beliefs and experiences2. Peter Lamont: Critically thinking about paranormal belief3. Massimo Polidoro: The magic in the brain; how conjuring works to deceive our mindsPart II - Tall Tales on Memory and Learning4. Nelson Cowan, Candice C Morey and Zhijian Chen: The legend of the magical number seven5. Seema L Clifasefi, Maryanne Garry and Elizabeth Loftus: Setting the record (or video camera) straight on memory: the video camera model of memory and other memory myths6. Amina Memon and Don Thomson: The myth of the incredible eyewitness7. Rachel Sutherland, Deryn Strange and Maryanne Garry: We've got the whole child witness thing figured out, or do we?Part III - Tall Tales on Intelligence8. David Carey: Is bigger really better? The search for brain size and intelligence in the 21st century9. Mike Anderson: Biology and intelligence: the race/IQ controversy10. Colin Gray and Sergio Della Sala: The refined Mozart effect: let's enjoy the music11. David G Myers: The powers and perils of intuuition12. Ken Gilhooly: Creative thinking: the mystery mythPart IV - Tall Tales on Language and Communication13. Antonella Sorace: The more, the merrier: facts and beliefs about the bilingual mind14. Nick Miller: The Merry Vibes of Wintzer: the tale of foreign accent syndrome15. Ray Hyman: Talking with the dead, communicating with the future and other myths created by cold reading16. Barry L Beyerstein: Graphology - a total write-off17. Aldert Vrij and Samantha Mann: The truth about deceptionPart V - Tall Tales on the Brain18. Michael C Corballis: The dual-brain myth19. Barry L Beyerstein: The neurology of the weird: brain states and anamalous experience20. Giovanni Berlucchi: The myth of the clonable human brain21. Peter Brugger and Marion Funk: Out on a limb: neglect and confabulation in the study of aplasic phantoms22. Cesare Cornoldi and Rossana DeBeni: Imagery and blindness23. Christopher C French and Julia Santomauro: Something wicked this way comes: causes and interpretations of sleep paralysisPart VI - Tall Tales on the Mind24. Eric H Chudler: The power of the full moon. Running on empty?25. Ray Hyman: Ouija, dowsing, and other seductions of ideomotor action26. Olaf Blanke and Gregor Thut: Inducing out-of-body experiences27. Barry L Beyerstein, Wallace I Sampson, Zarka Stojanovic and James Handel: Can mind conquer cancer?28. Fernando Saravi: The elusive search for a "gay gene"29. Mark Solms and Oliver Turnbull: To sleep, perchance to REM? The rediscovered role of emotion and meaning in dreams

Editorial Reviews

"This book is so well-written and balanced that it will make for enriching and entertaining reading for readers at any level. It manages to have a scientific foundation, yet presents clinically intriguing and practical, relevant cases. It is refreshing to see a group of authors put together a critical analysis of the rampant misinformation that thrives in popular culture."--Doody's "Highly interesting...A commendable collection of very interesting readings that should change erroneous beliefs in psychology and related fields."--PsycCRITIQUES