Minding the Social Brain

Minding the Social Brain

by Jay Evans Harris


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Minding the Social Brain—Virtual Foundation Stone; for the initiative to fund a decade-long BRAIN ACTIVITY MAP—BAM as in OBAMA.

A generation of social neuroscientists uses acronyms to identify the structural neural networks revealed in the NIH Human Connectome Project. They know that a medial brain hub of nodal networks, the Default Mode (DM), uses most of the brain’s activation energy. Responding to the unexpected, it adapts the brain’s predictive capacity by learning—modifying its own synaptic structure. During syndrome formation in brain damage, depression, traumatic anxiety, or psychosis, the DM maintains familiar mental fantasy and reverie—even when its core networks should be processing new data for adaptive problem-solving. Alzheimer’s disease decimates all the nodes of this hub.

Just as industry alongside government generated our genome code, researchers worldwide in the private sector and government are already exploring how a brain’s emergent property unifies its mind. Alert to perspectives that determine their future, workers in the social field have to develop their own emergent learning. Dr. Harris here provides a Rosetta Stone for exploring neural networks, mental hubs, mind/brain synthesis—and institutions that externalize these structures. Extending Freud’s discovery of a person’s dynamic unconscious, he depicts a dynamic social unconscious mediating social, economic, and political policy. From this perspective he presents contemporary and historical social syndromes. Collective PTSD, for instance, manifests in global criminal economies, widespread poverty, media escapism, and political denial.

International Psychoanalytic Books (IPBooks.net) and distributor Jason Aronson, Inc. are happy to present this compelling analysis of individual and collective syndromes that have their own emergent sources in both social process and brain process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985132941
Publisher: International Psychoanalytic Books
Publication date: 04/24/2013
Pages: 341
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Jay Evans Harris, MD, is a Midwesterner from St. Paul who has spent his professional life in New York City. His interest in psychiatry and the mind grew from trying to understand his mother’s epilepsy and his maternal grandmother’s psychotic depression. During the Depression and War years, his engineer father moved the family to Seattle, then back to the Twin Cities, and when Jay was in his teens to Baltimore, where he later attended Johns Hopkins and the U. of Maryland Medical School.

He moved to New York for proximity to the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. After internship at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and during his psychiatry residency at Jacobi hospital in the Bronx, he began psychoanalytic training, continuing throughout his postgraduate training at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. During his 50-year career in psychiatry he was a ward chief at Metropolitan Hospital, residency director in psychiatry at Cabrini Medical Center and at Stony Brook University Medical Center, and consulting psychiatrist at Riverside Church Pastoral Counseling Center, while maintaining an ongoing private practice and holding privileges and academic appointments at several prestigious medical centers in New York and on Long Island. He has worked with prisoners, SRO hotel populations, street people, university students, and celebrities.

A lifelong interest in psychoanalysis and neuroscience combined with a love of writing has resulted in his six books, covering a wide range of intellectual ground from clinical case histories to social neuroscience. His new book, Minding the Social Brain, brings brain science to bear on the workings of the mind and interdisciplinary social sciences.

Jay lives with his wife near Princeton, NJ, and continues a private practice in Manhattan. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. He likes to think of himself as a cross between a laid-back Jewish Minnesotan, and a New Yorker with street cred.

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