Phi

A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul

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Author: Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 0307907228

Category: Psychology

Page: 380

View: 3506

This title is printed in full color throughout. From one of the most original and influential neuroscientists at work today, here is an exploration of consciousness unlike any other—as told by Galileo, who opened the way for the objectivity of science and is now intent on making subjective experience a part of science as well. Galileo’s journey has three parts, each with a different guide. In the first, accompanied by a scientist who resembles Francis Crick, he learns why certain parts of the brain are important and not others, and why consciousness fades with sleep. In the second part, when his companion seems to be named Alturi (Galileo is hard of hearing; his companion’s name is actually Alan Turing), he sees how the facts assembled in the first part can be unified and understood through a scientific theory—a theory that links consciousness to the notion of integrated information (also known as phi). In the third part, accompanied by a bearded man who can only be Charles Darwin, he meditates on how consciousness is an evolving, developing, ever-deepening awareness of ourselves in history and culture—that it is everything we have and everything we are. Not since Gödel, Escher, Bach has there been a book that interweaves science, art, and the imagination with such originality. This beautiful and arresting narrative will transform the way we think of ourselves and the world.

Phi

A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul

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Author: Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Pantheon Books

ISBN: 030790721X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 364

View: 443

An influential neuroscientist presents a narrative exploration of consciousness that covers such topics as the important and less-important regions of the brain, the shifting of consciousness with sleep and the role of awareness in an evolving consciousness. 25,000 first printing.

Consciousness

Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist

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Author: Christof Koch

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262301032

Category: Science

Page: 200

View: 6285

What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book -- part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation -- describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest -- his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful.Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work -- to uncover the roots of consciousness.

A Universe Of Consciousness How Matter Becomes Imagination

How Matter Becomes Imagination

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Author: Gerald Edelman,Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786722584

Category: Psychology

Page: 416

View: 410

In A Universe of Consciousness, Gerald Edelman builds on the radical ideas he introduced in his monumental trilogy-Neural Darwinism, Topobiology, and The Remembered Present-to present for the first time an empirically supported full-scale theory of consciousness. He and the neurobiolgist Giulio Tononi show how they use ingenious technology to detect the most minute brain currents and to identify the specific brain waves that correlate with particular conscious experiences. The results of this pioneering work challenge the conventional wisdom about consciousness.

Our Mathematical Universe

My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

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Author: Max Tegmark

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 038535049X

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 2266

Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.

Sizing Up Consciousness

Towards an Objective Measure of the Capacity for Experience

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Author: Marcello Massimini,Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198728441

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 6138

Everyone knows what consciousness is: it is what vanishes when we fall into dreamless sleep and reappears when we wake up or when we dream. However, we become less and less confident when we are called to answer fundamental questions about the relationships between consciousness and the physical world. Using the Integrated Information Theory (IIT) as a guiding principle, Sizing up Consciousness takes the reader vis-a-vis with these question alonga fascinating journey from the cerebral cortex to the cerebellum, from wakefulness to sleep, anesthesia, and coma, supercomputers, octopuses, dolphins, and much more besides.

The Neurology of Consciousness

Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropathology

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Author: Steven Laureys,Olivia Gosseries,Giulio Tononi

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0128011750

Category: Medical

Page: 488

View: 9333

The second edition of The Neurology of Consciousness is a comprehensive update of this ground-breaking work on human consciousness, the first book in this area to summarize the neuroanatomical and functional underpinnings of consciousness by emphasizing a lesional approach offered by the study of neurological patients. Since the publication of the first edition in 2009, new methodologies have made consciousness much more accessible scientifically, and, in particular, the study of disorders, disruptions, and disturbances of consciousness has added tremendously to our understanding of the biological basis of human consciousness. The publication of a new edition is both critical and timely for continued understanding of the field of consciousness. In this critical and timely update, revised and new contributions by internationally renowned researchers—edited by the leaders in the field of consciousness research—provide a unique and comprehensive focus on human consciousness. The new edition of The Neurobiology of Consciousness will continue to be an indispensable resource for researchers and students working on the cognitive neuroscience of consciousness and related disorders, as well as for neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists contemplating consciousness as one of the philosophical, ethical, sociological, political, and religious questions of our time. New chapters on the neuroanatomical basis of consciousness and short-term memory, and expanded coverage of comas and neuroethics, including the ethics of brain death The first comprehensive, authoritative collection to describe disorders of consciousness and how they are used to study and understand the neural correlates of conscious perception in humans. Includes both revised and new chapters from the top international researchers in the field, including Christof Koch, Marcus Raichle, Nicholas Schiff, Joseph Fins, and Michael Gazzaniga

The Age of Insight

The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present

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Author: Eric R. Kandel

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: 1400068711

Category: Psychology

Page: 636

View: 6300

A Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist and author of In Search of Memory documents the work of five leading minds including Sigmund Freud and Gustave Klimt in 1900 Vienna, revealing how their critical breakthroughs in science, medicine and art laid the groundwork for present-day discoveries in brain science.

Consciousness and the Social Brain

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Author: Michael S. A. Graziano

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199928657

Category: Psychology

Page: 240

View: 6722

What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it? In Consciousness and the Social Brain, Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano lays out an audacious new theory to account for the deepest mystery of them all. The human brain has evolved a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent. This social machinery has only just begun to be studied in detail. One function of this circuitry is to attribute awareness to others: to compute that person Y is aware of thing X. In Graziano's theory, the machinery that attributes awareness to others also attributes it to oneself. Damage that machinery and you disrupt your own awareness. Graziano discusses the science, the evidence, the philosophy, and the surprising implications of this new theory.

Connectome

How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

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Author: Sebastian Seung

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 0547508174

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 2955

“Accessible, witty . . . an important new researcher, philosopher and popularizer of brain science . . . on par with cosmology’s Brian Greene and the late Carl Sagan” (The Plain Dealer). One of the Wall Street Journal’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year and a Publishers Weekly “Top Ten in Science” Title Every person is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, that uniqueness resides. Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our character. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: How? Sebastian Seung is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells—our particular wiring. Seung and a dedicated group of researchers are leading the effort to map these connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It’s a monumental effort, but if they succeed, they will uncover the basis of personality, identity, intelligence, memory, and perhaps disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story offering a daring scientific and technological vision for understanding what makes us who we are, as individuals and as a species. “This is complicated stuff, and it is a testament to Dr. Seung’s remarkable clarity of exposition that the reader is swept along with his enthusiasm, as he moves from the basics of neuroscience out to the farthest regions of the hypothetical, sketching out a spectacularly illustrated giant map of the universe of man.” —TheNew York Times “An elegant primer on what’s known about how the brain is organized and how it grows, wires its neurons, perceives its environment, modifies or repairs itself, and stores information. Seung is a clear, lively writer who chooses vivid examples.” —TheWashington Post

Ignorance

How It Drives Science

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Author: Stuart Firestein

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199939330

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 4239

Knowledge is a big subject, says Stuart Firestein, but ignorance is a bigger one. And it is ignorance--not knowledge--that is the true engine of science. Most of us have a false impression of science as a surefire, deliberate, step-by-step method for finding things out and getting things done. In fact, says Firestein, more often than not, science is like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. The process is more hit-or-miss than you might imagine, with much stumbling and groping after phantoms. But it is exactly this "not knowing," this puzzling over thorny questions or inexplicable data, that gets researchers into the lab early and keeps them there late, the thing that propels them, the very driving force of science. Firestein shows how scientists use ignorance to program their work, to identify what should be done, what the next steps are, and where they should concentrate their energies. And he includes a catalog of how scientists use ignorance, consciously or unconsciously--a remarkable range of approaches that includes looking for connections to other research, revisiting apparently settled questions, using small questions to get at big ones, and tackling a problem simply out of curiosity. The book concludes with four case histories--in cognitive psychology, theoretical physics, astronomy, and neuroscience--that provide a feel for the nuts and bolts of ignorance, the day-to-day battle that goes on in scientific laboratories and in scientific minds with questions that range from the quotidian to the profound. Turning the conventional idea about science on its head, Ignorance opens a new window on the true nature of research. It is a must-read for anyone curious about science.

The Ancient Origins of Consciousness

How the Brain Created Experience

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Author: Todd E. Feinberg,Jon M. Mallatt

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262333279

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 544

How is consciousness created? When did it first appear on Earth, and how did it evolve? What constitutes consciousness, and which animals can be said to be sentient? In this book, Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt draw on recent scientific findings to answer these questions -- and to tackle the most fundamental question about the nature of consciousness: how does the material brain create subjective experience? After assembling a list of the biological and neurobiological features that seem responsible for consciousness, and considering the fossil record of evolution, Feinberg and Mallatt argue that consciousness appeared much earlier in evolutionary history than is commonly assumed. About 520 to 560 million years ago, they explain, the great "Cambrian explosion" of animal diversity produced the first complex brains, which were accompanied by the first appearance of consciousness; simple reflexive behaviors evolved into a unified inner world of subjective experiences. From this they deduce that all vertebrates are and have always been conscious -- not just humans and other mammals, but also every fish, reptile, amphibian, and bird. Considering invertebrates, they find that arthropods (including insects and probably crustaceans) and cephalopods (including the octopus) meet many of the criteria for consciousness. The obvious and conventional wisdom--shattering implication is that consciousness evolved simultaneously but independently in the first vertebrates and possibly arthropods more than half a billion years ago. Combining evolutionary, neurobiological, and philosophical approaches allows Feinberg and Mallatt to offer an original solution to the "hard problem" of consciousness.

The New Science of Consciousness

Exploring the Complexity of Brain, Mind, and Self

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Author: Paul L. Nunez

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1633882195

Category: Medical

Page: 374

View: 6949

This book explains in layperson's terms a new approach to studying consciousness based on a partnership between neuroscientists and complexity scientists. The author, a physicist turned neuroscientist, outlines essential features of this partnership. The new science goes well beyond traditional cognitive science and simple neural networks, which are often the focus in artificial intelligence research. It involves many fields including neuroscience, artificial intelligence, physics, cognitive science, and psychiatry. What causes autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease? How does our unconscious influence our actions? As the author shows, these important questions can be viewed in a new light when neuroscientists and complexity scientists work together. This cross-disciplinary approach also offers fresh insights into the major unsolved challenge of our age: the origin of self-awareness. Do minds emerge from brains? Or is something more involved? Using human social networks as a metaphor, the author explains how brain behavior can be compared with the collective behavior of large-scale global systems. Emergent global systems that interact and form relationships with lower levels of organization and the surrounding environment provide useful models for complex brain functions. By blending lucid explanations with illuminating analogies, this book offers the general reader a window into the latest exciting developments in brain research.

Biophysics of Consciousness

A Foundational Approach

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Author: Roman R Poznanski,Jack A Tuszynski,Todd E Feinberg

Publisher: World Scientific

ISBN: 9814644277

Category: Science

Page: 664

View: 6166

The problem of how the brain produces consciousness, subjectivity and "something it is like to be" remains one of the greatest challenges to a complete science of the natural world. While various scientists and philosophers approach the problem from their own unique perspectives and in the terms of their own respective fields, Biophysics of Consciousness: A Foundational Approach attempts a consilience across disparate disciplines to explain how it is possible that an objective brain produces subjective experience. This volume unites the crème de la crème of physicists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists in the attempt to understand consciousness through a foundational approach encompassing ontological, evolutionary, neurobiological, and Freudian interpretations with the focus on conscious phenomena occurring in the brain. By integrating the perspectives of these diverse disciplines with the latest research and theories on the biophysics of the brain, the book tries to explain how consciousness can be an adaptive and causal element in the natural world.

Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Selves

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Author: Patricia S. Churchland

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393240630

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 1750

A trailblazing philosopher’s exploration of the latest brain science—and its ethical and practical implications. What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought-provoking narrative—drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences—trailblazing neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland grounds the philosophy of mind in the essential ingredients of biology. She reflects with humor on how she came to harmonize science and philosophy, the mind and the brain, abstract ideals and daily life. Offering lucid explanations of the neural workings that underlie identity, she reveals how the latest research into consciousness, memory, and free will can help us reexamine enduring philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions: What shapes our personalities? How do we account for near-death experiences? How do we make decisions? And why do we feel empathy for others? Recent scientific discoveries also provide insights into a fascinating range of real-world dilemmas—for example, whether an adolescent can be held responsible for his actions and whether a patient in a coma can be considered a self. Churchland appreciates that the brain-based understanding of the mind can unnerve even our greatest thinkers. At a conference she attended, a prominent philosopher cried out, “I hate the brain; I hate the brain!” But as Churchland shows, he need not feel this way. Accepting that our brains are the basis of who we are liberates us from the shackles of superstition. It allows us to take ourselves seriously as a product of evolved mechanisms, past experiences, and social influences. And it gives us hope that we can fix some grievous conditions, and when we cannot, we can at least understand them with compassion.

The Ravenous Brain

How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning

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Author: Daniel Bor

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465032966

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 2589

Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snowcapped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory—that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains’ ravenous appetite for information—and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behavior may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits—it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness—a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.

The Art of Fear

Why Conquering Fear Won't Work and What to Do Instead

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Author: Kristen Ulmer

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062423436

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 8694

A revolutionary guide to acknowledging fear and developing the tools we need to build a healthy relationship with this confusing emotion—and use it as a positive force in our lives. We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit? This is the essential question that guides Kristen Ulmer’s remarkable exploration of our most misunderstood emotion in The Art of Fear. Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world (an honor she held for twelve years), Ulmer knows fear well. In this conversation-changing book, she argues that fear is not here to cause us problems—and that in fact, the only true issue we face with fear is our misguided reaction to it (not the fear itself). Rebuilding our experience with fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we’ve come to view it as a negative. From here, she unpacks fear and shows it to be just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, here to help us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. Introducing a mindfulness tool called “Shift,” Ulmer teaches readers how to experience fear in a simpler, more authentic way, transforming our relationship with this emotion from that of a draining battle into one that’s in line with our true nature. Influenced by Ulmer’s own complicated relationship with fear and her over 15 years as a mindset facilitator, The Art of Fear will reconstruct the way we react to and experience fear—empowering us to easily and permanently address the underlying cause of our fear-based problems, and setting us on course to live a happier, more expansive future.

Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain

How to Retrain Your Brain to Overcome Pessimism and Achieve a More Positive Outlook

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Author: Elaine Fox

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 046502923X

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 1264

Are you optimistic or pessimistic? Glass half-full or half-empty? Do you look on the bright side or turn towards the dark? These are easy questions for most of us to answer, because our personality types are hard-wired into our brains. As pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Elaine Fox has discovered, our outlook on life reflects our primal inclination to seek pleasure or avoid danger—inclinations that, in many people, are healthily balanced. But when our “fear brain” or “pleasure brain” is too strong, the results can be disastrous, as those of us suffering from debilitating shyness, addiction, depression, or anxiety know all too well. Luckily, anyone suffering from these afflictions has reason to hope. Stunning breakthroughs in neuroscience show that our brains are more malleable than we ever imagined. In Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Fox describes a range of techniques—from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy to innovative cognitive-retraining exercises—that can actually alter our brains’ circuitry, strengthening specific thought processes by exercising the neural systems that control them. The implications are enormous: lifelong pessimists can train themselves to think positively and find happiness, while pleasure-seekers inclined toward risky or destructive behavior can take control of their lives. Drawing on her own cutting-edge research, Fox shows how we can retrain our brains to brighten our lives and learn to flourish. With keen insights into how genes, life experiences and cognitive processes interleave together to make us who we are, Rainy Brain, SunnyBrain revolutionizes our basic concept of individuality. We learn that we can influence our own personalities, and that our lives are only as “sunny” or as “rainy” as we allow them to be.

Dragons of Eden

Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

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Author: Carl Sagan

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 9780307801005

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 6825

“A history of the human brain from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, to the day before yesterday . . . It's a delight.”—The New York Times Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great reading adventure, offering his vivid and startling insight into the brain of man and beast, the origin of human intelligence, the function of our most haunting legends—and their amazing links to recent discoveries. “How can I persuade every intelligent person to read this important and elegant book? . . . He talks about all kinds of things: the why of the pain of human childbirth . . . the reason for sleeping and dreaming . . . chimpanzees taught to communicate in deaf and dumb language . . . the definition of death . . . cloning . . . computers . . . intelligent life on other planets. . . . Fascinating . . . delightful.”—The Boston Globe “In some lost Eden where dragons ruled, the foundations of our intelligence were laid. . . . Carl Sagan takes us on a guided tour of that lost land. . . . Fascinating . . . entertaining . . . masterful.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Surfaces and Essences

Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking

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Author: Douglas Hofstadter,Emmanuel Sander

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465018475

Category: Philosophy

Page: 592

View: 3992

Shows how analogy-making pervades human thought at all levels, influencing the choice of words and phrases in speech, providing guidance in unfamiliar situations, and giving rise to great acts of imagination.