The deep history of ourselves : the four-billion-year story of how we got conscious brains / Joseph LeDoux ; illustrations by Caio da Silva Sorrentino.

"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 anim...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: LeDoux, Joseph E. (Author)
Other Authors: Sorrentino, Caio Da Silva (Illustrator)
Format: Book
Published: [New York] : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2019]
Table of Contents:
  • Preface
  • Prologue: Why on earth...?
  • Part 1: Our place in nature. Deep roots ; The tree of life ; Kingdoms come ; Common ancestry ; It's a livin' thing
  • Part 2: Survival and behavior. The behavior or organisms ; Beyond animal behavior ; The earliest survivors ; Survival strategies and tactics ; Rethinking behavior
  • Part 3: Microbial life. In the beginning ; Life itself ; Survival machines ; The arrivals of organelles ; The marriage or LUCA's children ; Breathing new life into old
  • Part 4: The transition to complexity. Size matters ; The sexual revolution ; Mitochondrial Eve, Jesse James, and the origin of sex ; Colonial times ; The selection two-step ; Flagellating through the bottleneck
  • Part 5: ...And then animals invented neurons. What is an animal? ; A humble beginning ; Animals take shape ; The magic of neurons ; How neurons and nervous systems happened
  • Part 6: Metazoan bread crumbs in the oceans. Facing forward ; Tissue issues ; Oral or anal? ; Deep-sea deuterostomes link us to our past ; A tale of two chords
  • Part 7: The vertebrates arrive. Bauplan vertebrata ; The life aquatic ; On the surface ; The milk trail
  • Part 8: Ladders and trees in the vertebrate brain. Neuro-bauplan vertebrata ; Ludwig's ladder ; The triune temptress ; Darwin's muddled emotional psychology ; How basic are basic emotions?
  • Part 9: The beginning of cognition. Cogitation ; Finding cognition in the behaviorist bailiwick ; The evolution of behavioral flexibility
  • Part 10: Surviving (and thriving) by thinking. Deliberation ; The engine of deliberative cognition ; Schmoozing
  • Part 11: Cognitive hardwire. Perception and memory share circuitry ; The cognitive coalition ; Rewired and running hot
  • Part 12: Subjectivity. Being there ; What is it like to be conscious? ; I want to take you higher ; Higher awareness in the brain
  • Part 13: Consciousness through the looking glass of memory. The invention of experience ; Ah, memory ; Putting memories in their places ; Higher-order awareness through the lens of memory
  • Part 14: The shallows. The tricky problem of other minds ; Creeping up on consciousness ; Kinds of minds
  • Part 15: Emotional subjectivity. The slippery slopes of emotional semantics ; Can survival circuits save the day? ; Thoughtful feelings ; Emotional brains run HOT ; Survival is deep, but our emotions are shallow
  • Epilogue: Can we survive our self-conscious selves?
  • Appendix: Timeline of the history of life.