The Other Side of Normal: How Biology Is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior

The Other Side of Normal: How Biology Is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior

by Jordan Smoller


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In this enthralling work of popular science, respected Harvard psychiatrist Jordan Smoller addresses one of humankind’s most enduring and perplexing questions: What does it mean to be “normal?” In The Other Side of Normal, Smoller explores the biological component of normalcy, revealing the hidden side of our everyday behaviors—why we love what we love and fear what we fear. Other bestselling works of neurobiology and the mind have focused on mental illness and abnormal behaviors—like the Oliver Sacks classic, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat—but The Other Side of Normal is an eye-opening, thought-provoking, utterly fascinating and totally accessible exploration of the universals of human experience. It will change forever our understanding of who we are and what makes us that way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061492204
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 390
Sales rank: 378,628
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jordan Smoller is associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 "We're All Mad Here" 11

Chapter 2 How Genes Tune the Brain: The Biology of Temperament 44

Chapter 3 Blind Cats and Baby Einsteins: The Biology of Nurture 82

Chapter 4 Dogs, Poker, and Autism: The Biology of Mind Reading 137

Chapter 5 "Sole Mates": The Biology of Attachment and Trust 186

Chapter 6 The Brain of the Beholder: Beauty and Sexual Attraction 227

Chapter 7 Remembering to Forget 274

Chapter 8 The New Normal 324

Acknowledgments 338

Sources 341

Index 377

What People are Saying About This

Amy Chua

“Move over Oliver Sacks - I couldn’t put this fascinating book down! Path-breaking and witty, as entertaining as it is informative, The Other Side of Normal is filled with insights into why we behave as we do and how biology determines so much of our emotional makeup. A brilliant mind and dazzling writer, Smoller has written a book that will change the way you look at every day life.”

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