The Amazing Human Brain and Human Development

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Lesson 6: Resources
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You've taken in a tremendous amount of information in the past few weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if it all seems a little overwhelming. Our brains are so complex and so magnificent in their function. It is my hope that this course will spark an interest in you to learn more.

There is an abundance of interesting, accessible reading material available regarding the brain and related subjects. Here are a few of my top picks. I recommend that you check some of them out.

  • Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture Your Child's Intelligence, Creativity and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence by Marian Diamond and Janet Hopson
This book is a thoughtful review of much of the work on enriched environments and brain development. Dr. Diamond is a pioneer in these studies. The most fascinating elements of this book include the sections examining the work that has been done on enriched environments for human children. Included are practical suggestions for parents and a very good resource section. It targets the general population.
  • The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains and How Children Learn by Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, and Patricia Kuhl
This is a new book by a team of respected neuroscientists who have been studying the development of language in babies. This group writes a very well-referenced and thoughtful book about the value of early childhood experience in cognitive and emotional development. There is actually little about brain structure, organization, or development, but it does provide much about principles of brain functioning. This book is also appropriate for general readership.
  • Inside the Brain: Revolutionary Discoveries of How the Mind Works by Ronald Kotulak
This is a book by a Pulitzer Prize winning science writer. He reviews some of the emerging findings in the pre-clinical neurosciences with a focus on mental health, violence and aggression, substance abuse, and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This is a very readable book, and it's a good start for anyone interested in learning about the brain.
  • The Scientific American Book of the Brain: Consciousness, I.Q. and Intelligence, Perception, Disorders of the Mind, and Much More
This book, compiled by the editors of Scientific American magazine, examines just about every aspect of brain functioning -- from behavior to intelligence to mental illness. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in how the brain works.


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