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A leading neuroscientist offers a history of the evolution of the brain from unicellular organisms to the complexity of animals and human beings today
Renowned neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux digs into the natural history of life on earth to provide a new perspective on the similarities between us and our ancestors in deep time. This page-turning survey of the whole of terrestrial evolution sheds new light on how nervous systems evolved in animals, how the brain developed, and what it means to be human.
In The Deep History of Ourselves LeDoux argues that the key to understanding all human behaviour lies in viewing evolution through the prism of the first living organisms. By tracking the chain of the evolutionary timeline he shows how even the earliest single-celled organisms had to solve the same problems we and our cells have to solve today in order to survive and thrive. Along the way, LeDoux explores our place in nature, how conscious brain function climbed the tree of life, and how the brain managed to transcend its early concern with survival to reach towards what we humans understand as consciousness.
Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University, where he is a member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology. He directs the Emotional Brain Institute at New York University and at the Nathan Kline Institute, and is the author of the books Anxious, Synaptic Self, and The Emotional Brain. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, LeDoux lives in Brooklyn, New York