Projections A Story of Human Emotions

  • ISBN 13:


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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 06/15/2021
  • Publisher: Random House

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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In this groundbreaking portrait of the human mind, a renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist explores the biological and physical nature of our inner worlds through poignant, and at times shocking, clinical stories.

Karl Deisseroth has spent his life pursuing truths about the human mind, both as a clinical psychiatrist and as a researcher developing the revolutionary field of optogenetics, which allows us to decipher the brain's workings using light. In Projections, he combines his groundbreaking access to the brain's inner circuitry with a deep empathy for his patients to examine what mental illness reveals about the origin of human feelings--how the broken can illuminate the unbroken.

Deisseroth is an internationally acclaimed professor of bioengineering and psychiatry at Stanford, but his true passion is clinical psychiatry, and it is the stories of his patients that form the backbone of Projections. Through these case studies, he tells the larger story of how we can understand the physical and biological origins of human emotion in the brain. As such, he describes vividly how humans experience feelings in the ancient circuits of our brains and in the poignant moments of suffering in our daily lives. The stories of Deisseroth's patients are rich with humanity and shine an unprecedented light on the self and the ways in which it breaks down. A young woman with an eating disorder reveals how the mind can rebel against the brain's most primitive drives of hunger and thirst; an older gentleman, smothered into silence by depression and dementia, shows how humans evolved to feel joy and its absence; and a lonely Uyghur woman far from home teaches the importance of deep social bonds.

An illuminating, literary, and essential work, Projections transforms the way we see the brain as a biological and emotional object, grounded in universally-resonant human stories and our common search for understanding.

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