52 in 52 Book Summaries

Book Summary: Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create Our Conscious Lives by Michael Gazzaniga

Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create Our Conscious Lives by Michael Gazzaniga


The Essence

Questions regarding what the mind is has been at the forefront of neuroscience since scientist began to study the brain. However through increasing evidence, mind-body dualism has revealed itself to be a fictitious model for understanding how the human comprehensively functions. Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga’s pioneer work in the field has presented evidence for how the mind can directly influence our physiological states, and how we can subsequently use the mind to change the circuitry of the brain to navigate the potential stressors of our lives. Consequently, our understanding has also shed light on the buffer between what we consciously believe and the underlying causes for a felt state. Mind Matters is an introductory work to thinking about the propensity dispositions of the mind within each of us.

Mind Matters Journal Entry Notes:

This is my book summary of Mind Matters. My notes are a reflection of the journal write up above. Written informally, the notes contain a mesh and mix of quotes and my own thoughts on the book. Sometimes, to my own fault, quotes are interlaced with my own words. Though rest assured, I am not attempting to take any credit for the main ideas below. The Journal write up includes important messages and crucial passages from the book.

  • A thought can change the circuits of the brain, just as a physical event ion the brain can alter a thought.
  • Turn destructive situations into a perception positive opportunity
  • Brain and mind are in extricablely linked to our bodily health and well-being.
  • A physical system can have emergent properties that become active in guiding the workings of the physical system that gave rise to them; this is how Gazzaniga conceptualizes the mind at this writing.
  • Stress: Attention to stress levels is fundamental to good health management since stress is a very real bodily stare and influences everything from our memory capacity to our weight and to our ability to fight disease.
  • Constructive vs. Destructive stress: The extent of stress depends on how each adverse experience is interpreted by each individual. WE must teach people to control their physiological response to stressful stimuli.
  • Grand personal theories can develop as to why someone does what he or she does, but the truth us likely to be based on the fact that the interpreter is giving a reasonable theory to account for or rationalize a person’s basic brain capacities and limitations.
  • A lot of pain is in the mind of the beholder. How we respond to pain is largely a learned behavior.
  • The Human ability to explain unexpected situations is overwhelming.
  • “There is no phenomenon, however complex, which when examined carefully will not turn out to be even more complex” –David Krech
  • Mind affects brain, brain affects mind. By accepting this, you commit yourself to a special view of the world.
  • Delusion represents an effective coping strategy; it is the interpreter weaving together a story that fits his or her facts.
  • Our interpretative mind is always attributing a cause to a felt state of mind, and we now know that these interpretations are frequently irrelevant to the true underlying causes of a felt state.
  • The challenge for mind and brain scientist has been to come up with a conceptual framework that can tie together abnormalities of brain tissue, or more normal variations in brain chemistry, with the personal, psychological reality of our individual minds.
  • Various attributes of mind that seem to have a purely psychological origin are frequently a product of the brain’s interpreter rationalizing genetically driven body states.
  • Our brains are extremely adaptive to change.
  • Any systematic change in the complex of behavior and brain circuits leads to new possibilities and new questions.
  • Sensation seeking is a very important trait in humans.
  • The mind and body become delicate and intricate partners in health and personality: Feedback.

If you liked what you saw. Here are 3 titles that I recommend based on what was discussed in Mind Matters .

  1. Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience by Michael S. Gazzaniga
  2. Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga
  3. Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael S. Gazzaniga

Find the book on Amazon: Print

Check Out More 52 in 52 Challenge Summaries

Note: This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to buy a product through them, I will receive a small commission. This has no additional cost to you. If you would like to support Forces of Habit, please use these links. If you do use them, thank you for the support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *