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Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World

ISBN: 978-1-4051-3694-5
248 pages
May 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World (1405136944) cover image
Written by one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Making Up the Mind is the first accessible account of experimental studies showing how the brain creates our mental world.

  • Uses evidence from brain imaging, psychological experiments and studies of patients to explore the relationship between the mind and the brain
  • Demonstrates that our knowledge of both the mental and physical comes to us through models created by our brain
  • Shows how the brain makes communication of ideas from one mind to another possible
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Prologue: Real scientists don’t study the mind.

Part I: Seeing through the brain’s illusions:.

1. Clues from a damaged brain.

2. What a normal brain tells us about the world.

3. What the brain tells us about our bodies.

Part II: How the brain does it:.

4. Getting ahead by prediction.

5. Our perception of the world is a fantasy that coincides with reality.

6. How brains model minds.

Part III: Culture and the brain:.

7. Sharing minds – How the brain creates culture.

Epilogue: Me and my Brain.

References/Further Reading

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Chris Frith is Professor in Neuropsychology at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London. His publications include Schizophrenia: A Very Short Introduction (2003, with Eve C. Johnstone) and The Neuroscience of Social Interaction (2004, edited with Daniel Wolpert).
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  • The first accessible account of experimental studies showing how the brain creates our mental world
  • Written by Chris Frith, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists
  • Uses evidence from brain imaging, psychological experiments and studies of patients to explore the relationship between the mind and the brain
  • Demonstrates that our knowledge of both the mental and physical comes to us through models created by our brain
  • Shows how the brain makes communication of ideas from one mind to another possible
See More
“This book presents a clear description of the current neuroscientific view of the relationship between the brain and the mind.” (Brain Science Podcast, May 2009)

"Neuroscience and psychology often struggle to answer the really interesting questions about the mind, but in this fascinating book, Chris Frith shows that science can finally start explaining how and why we experience the world as we do. Anyone interested in human nature - not just the nuts and bolts of neural circuits - will find his storytelling compelling. Frith delves into topics such as delusions, illusions, imagination and imitation, bringing clarity and insight to the simplest abservations and most complex experiments alike." (New Scientist)


"Making up the Mind is an interesting book to everybody who wants to learn more about how the brain gives rise to our mental experiences...As Frith himself depicts in a sort of framing story, you will easily find yourself talking about these ideas at your next dinner party, as well as use it for serious considerations on the brain or as a toolbox for next term's essay. A stimulating new book by a distinguished scientist who knows what he is talking about." (Metapsychology Online Reviews)

"Frith has produced an enthralling discussion on the subtle links between mind and brain, sometimes with humorous liaisons between himself, as narrator, and others who might be labelled as sceptics, unbelievers." (Psychologist)

“Stands apart from many that have been written lately … For those who have time to read only one book … this should be it. Essential.” (Choice Reviews)

Oliver Sacks"Making up the Mind is a fascinating guided tour through the elusive interface between mind and brain written by a pioneer in the field. The authors obvious passion for the subject shines through every page."
–V. S. Ramachandran

"I soon made up my mind that this is an excellent, most readable and stimulating book. The author is a distinguished neuroscientist working especially on brain imaging."
–RL Gregory, Experimental Psychology

"Chris Frith, one of the pioneers in applying brain imaging to study mental processes, has written a brilliant introduction to the biology of mental processes for the general reader. This superb book describes how we recreate in our brains a representation of the external world. Clearly and beautifully written, this book is for all who want to learn about how the brain gives rise to the mental phenomenon of our lives. A must read!"
–Eric R. Kandel, M.D.

"Important and surprising. The brain will never seem the same again."
–Lewis Wolpert, University College London

"Frith’s luminously intelligent book...raises interesting questions about how it is possible to make serious scientific progress, on the borders of metaphysics, while still thinking inside a framework that is an ontological and epistemological muddle."
–Raymond Tallis, Brain

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