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Brain wars

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I find the whole brain/mind debate very interesting. I think this book will make it even more so. Any thoughts on this?


BRAIN WARS (reviewed on March 15, 2012)A neuropsychologist argues that the time has come for “an expanded model of reality” that takes into account the separation of mind and consciousness from the brain.

Beauregard (The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul, 2008, etc.), an associate researcher at the University of Montreal, cites examples to set the stage for his conviction that “mind and consciousness are not produced by the brain.” He gives examples of the placebo effect and the use of neurofeedback to train the mind to control brain functions, and he rejects efforts to map areas of the brain to mental functions by the use of electrical stimulation and other methods—he deems these to be reductionist. To support his contention of the primacy of mind over matter, Beauregard describes the apparent effectiveness of black magic on victims who believe in the power of spells. More controversial are his contentions about extrasensory perception. He reports examples of out-of-body and near-death experiences, which he interprets as proof of the existence of the soul and its life after death. He also discusses clairvoyance and precognition; he writes, “no current theories in physics, psychology, or neuroscience can explain them convincingly.” In the author’s view, a scientific paradigm shift is on the horizon, and he states what he claims to be definitive proof that under certain conditions “telepathy does occur.” He cites an experiment in which participants in different rooms were shown the same four pictures. One made a selection and the other guessed which one was selected. In one third of the instances, the second participant chose the correct picture, beating the “odds against chance beyond a million billion to one.” He does not entertain the possibility that the experimental design was flawed.

Proponents of the author's new-age beliefs will be intrigued; others will be more skeptical.

Another review:



“Brain Wars explains why the prevailing brain-mind paradigm is falling apart and why we are increasingly being forced to reconsider the nature of consciousness. The consequences of this paradigm shift are profound, and Mario Beauregard does a magnificent job in explaining why.” (Dean Radin PhDCo-Editor-in-Chief, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing Senior Scientist Institute of Noetic Sciences )

“Mario Beauregard shows convincingly that the materialistic philosophy of the 19th century is an impoverished framework incompatible with contemporary science, from physics to psychology. The concepts he develops in Brain Wars are required reading for scientific literacy in today’s world.” (Bruce Greyson, M.D. Research psychiatrist, University of Virginia. Co-author of Irreducible Mind )

“In this ground-breaking work, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard cites a range of scientific studies challenging many widely held materialistic assumptions about the relation between the mind and brain.” (B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D.President, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies )

“The assumption that the brain makes consciousness, like the liver makes bile, and that human consciousness is confined to the brain and body, will not endure because it is unscientific, and cannot account for how consciousness manifests in the world. In this important book, Dr. Mario Beauregard shows why.” (Larry Dossey, MDAuthor of Reinventing Medicine and The Power of Premonitions )

“Dr. Beauregard describes that our mind/consciousness has a fundamental and irreducible nature, and that it sometimes can be experienced independently from the body because it is not limited to our brain. Brain Wars clearly announces the end of physicalism, reductionism, materialism and objectivism in science.” (Pim van Lommel, cardiologist, author of Consciousness beyond Life )

About the Author

Mario Beauregard, Ph.D., is associate research professor at the Departments of Psychology and Radiology and the Neuroscience Research Center at the University of Montreal. He is the coauthor of The Spiritual Brain and more than one hundred publications in neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry.


Pub Date: May 1st, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-207156-9

Page count: 256pp

Publisher: HarperOne

Review Posted Online: March 5th, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2012

Edited by markdohle

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