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Cognitive Science Reading & Discussion Group Monthly Meetup

  • Jul 20, 2014 · 2:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

The location of this meetup will be Espresso Roma on Hopkins St in Berkeley. For this meeting we will be discussing The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic by Jonathan Rottenberg, ISBN 0465022219.

We can also share thoughts & ideas about various other books we have read in the field of cognitive science and other related disciplines (such as evolutionary psychology or neuroscience). I look forward to meeting and discussing cognitive science with you!

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  • Jeff G

    I will be violating my rule not to explain a book by an author's personal history, on the pretext that Rottenberg has made his salient. Chapter 10 could be a blueprint for a fascinating conversation, as it highlights the contradictions that are the foundation of any interesting work. But Chapters 6 & 7 have the main takeaways for me.

    July 18, 2014

    • Jeff G

      For such a short book, there seemed to be so much to say! Glad that those attracted to more general cog sci topics were able to hang in there for the extended discussion, too.

      July 21, 2014

    • Jeff G

      Paul Ekman's Recognizing Emotions comes from a similar confluence of motives, a trained scientist whose interest in the topic is very personal, and the result is similar, too: a powerful research result, plus a lot of what is effectively speculation to fill space. But I found Rottenberg's thinking on how to fix what seems not to be working in depression treatment, and esp. research, to be more memorable and convincing.

      July 21, 2014

  • Rachman C.

    It was a pleasure to meet everyone today. This was my first book club discussion that I have attended and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to more books and conversation. On that note, here are some book recommendations that may be good for us to read:

    Disconnected Kids
    by Robert Melillo

    This one is a great introduction to my field in Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation from a developmental, sociological and technology perspective. A short read.

    The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness
    by Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, Elkhonon Gold­berg

    Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology
    by Daniel J. Siegal

    Change Your Brain Change Your Life
    by Daniel Amen

    Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain by Antonia Damasio

    Change Anything: the new science of personal success
    by Kerry Patterson, et al

    The Compass of Pleasure
    by David J. Linden

    Proust Was a Neuroscientist
    by Jonah Lehrer

    Why Isn't My Brain Working
    by Datis Kharrazian

    July 20, 2014

    • Jay C.

      Antonio Damasio has also written about Spinoza, specifically the last two chapters of this book (from Wikipedia)"Damasio'­s Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, was published in 2003. In it, Damasio suggested that Spinoza's thinking foreshadowed discoveries in biology and neuroscience views on the mind-body problem. Spinoza was a protobiologist. "

      July 21, 2014

  • lorena

    I wasn't excited about reading a book about depression, I guess I thought it would be depressing but as it turns out I actually liked the book very much. I do not think depression is either caused by mood and situation OR a chemical imbalance but the cause is a combination of many factors and the more we learn the better. As always, I am looking forward to our discussion.

    July 4, 2014

  • Jay C.

    The Depths, Jonathan Rottenburg
    A quick, easy read, without a lot of depth in it.
    (Could not resist !)
    Is it news that Depression is mood and situation rather than a chemical imbalance ?
    That there are reasons for it, and it is sometimes an appropriate reaction ?
    He grasps for “survival value”, but you can almost always rationalize some survival value, Darwin being the keyhole through which we all must peek.
    “Mood Science” ? Pushes the envelope.
    D is not a blockade, it’s a speed bump, and you can thrive your way beyond it.
    If it is not already apparent, I have nearly no education in Psychology; the one mandatory course in college, and nearly no personal experience with the big D. Once.
    As a Spinozist, I’m just too joyful. Feed your Conatus.
    Chapter 10 is the best, if you’re in a hurry, don’t skip chapter 10.
    Maybe read backwards...

    July 3, 2014

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