Joy, guilt, anger, love What neuroscience can--and can't--tell us about how we feel

Giovanni Frazzetto

Book - 2014

"Is science ever enough to explain why we feel the way we feel? In this engaging account, renowned neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto blends cutting-edge scientific research with personal stories to reveal how our brains generate our emotions. He demonstrates that while modern science has expanded our knowledge, investigating art, literature, and philosophy is equally crucial to unraveling the brain's secrets. What can a brain scan, or our reaction to a Caravaggio painting, reveal about... the deep seat of guilt? Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than antidepressants? What can writing poetry tell us about how joy works? Structured in seven chapters encompassing common human emotions-anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy, and love-Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love offers a way of thinking about science and art that will help us to more fully understand ourselves and how we feel"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Penguin Books 2014.
©2013
Language
English
Item Description
"First published in Great Britain as 'How we feel' by Doubleday, an imprint of Transworld Publishers, 2013"--Title-page verso.
Physical Description
312 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-304) and index.
ISBN
9780143123095
0143123092
Main Author
Giovanni Frazzetto (author)
  • Anger : hot eruptions
  • Guilt : an indelible stain
  • Anxiety : fear of the unknown
  • Grief : presence in the absence
  • Empathy : the truth behind the curtains
  • Joy : fragments of bliss
  • Love : syndromes and sonnets.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Neuroscientist Frazzetto (How We Feel) takes a remarkable look at the power of human emotion and the overuse of science in justifying human nature. It is, as he states, "an irresistible notion," but Frazzetto's treatise on the role our brains play in everyday emotions is a refreshing take on the idea. Interweaving psychological and scientific experiments with endearing personal anecdotes and historical retellings, Frazzetto shows that we are, indeed, more than the sum of our brain scans. While his knowledge of case studies is impressive, it's his own dealings with strong emotions like grief and love that make the book appealing. The eponymous emotions impact our quotidian experiences, and Frazzetto explores them beyond the laboratory, sharing the stories and experiences of such figures as Darwin, Freud, Brecht, and Caravaggio, as well as how their own intimate relationships with these emotions can now be analyzed through neuroscience. Frazzetto has produced an homage to the history and of mankind's devotion to flights of the heart and sparks of the brain. Agent: Carrie Kania, Conville & Walsh Literary Agency (U.K.) (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Blending together cutting-edge research with personal stories, a prominent neuroscientist offers a new way of thinking about science and art that will help us fully understand ourselves and how we feel. Original. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Looks at the current scientific understanding of how human brains generate emotions, while acknowledging science's limitations in allowing us to understand them.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Is science ever enough to explain why we feel the way we feel? In this engaging account, renowned neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto blends cutting-edge scientific research with personal stories to reveal how our brains generate our emotions. He demonstrates that while modern science has expanded our knowledge, investigating art, literature, and philosophy is equally crucial to unraveling the brain's secrets. What can a brain scan, or our reaction to a Caravaggio painting, reveal about the deep seat ofguilt? Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than antidepressants? What can writing poetry tell us about how joy works? Structured in seven chapters encompassing common human emotions-anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy, and love-Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love offers a way of thinking about science and art that will help us to more fully understand ourselves and how we feel"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Neuroscientist Frazzetto illuminates seven emotions: anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy, and love. He examines their neural subtexts, and the discovery that neuroscience does not explain everything. In seven chapters he defines the difference between emotions and feelings: feelings are internal, subjective, and private, while emotions are spontaneous reactions, like a blush. In seven chapters he discusses anger using Darwin and gridlock. A Caravaggio painting exemplifies guilt in chapter two. Chapter three considers anxiety through an economic meltdown. Grief is addressed in chapter four, and looks at the power of naming, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and Ludwig Wittgenstein's name "game". The chapter on empathy discusses mirror neurons and Eleanor Duse's blush. Chapter six (joy) asks the question: what side is your brain on? He concludes with love and a discussion of dopamine?i.e., life's highs and lows. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 5

'Neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto enters the restless realm of human emotion through the portals of physiology, genetics, history, art and philosophy. Anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy and love are anatomized in turn, enlivened with research on everything from the role of monoamine oxidase A in anger to the engagement of opioid receptors as we thrill to music. And who knew that surrealist Salvador Dali created an art installation in the shape of a giant caterpillar to explore the process of sedation?"'Nature Is science ever enough to explain why we feel the way we feel?In this engaging account, renowned neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto blends cutting-edge scientific research with personal stories to reveal how our brains generate our emotions. He demonstrates that while modern science has expanded our knowledge, investigating art, literature, and philosophy is equally crucial to unraveling the brain's secrets. What can a brain scan, or our reaction to a Caravaggio painting, reveal about the deep seat of guilt? Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than antidepressants? What can writing poetry tell us about how joy works? Structured in seven chapters encompassing common human emotions'anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy, and love'Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love offers a way of thinking about science and art that will help us to more fully understand ourselves and how we feel.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

“Neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto enters the restless realm of human emotion through the portals of physiology, genetics, history, art and philosophy. Anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy and love are anatomized in turn, enlivened with research on everything from the role of monoamine oxidase A in anger to the engagement of opioid receptors as we thrill to music. And who knew that surrealist Salvador Dali created an art installation in the shape of a giant caterpillar to explore the process of sedation?”—Nature Is science ever enough to explain why we feel the way we feel?In this engaging account, renowned neuroscientist Giovanni Frazzetto blends cutting-edge scientific research with personal stories to reveal how our brains generate our emotions. He demonstrates that while modern science has expanded our knowledge, investigating art, literature, and philosophy is equally crucial to unraveling the brain’s secrets. What can a brain scan, or our reaction to a Caravaggio painting, reveal about the deep seat of guilt? Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than antidepressants? What can writing poetry tell us about how joy works? Structured in seven chapters encompassing common human emotions—anger, guilt, anxiety, grief, empathy, joy, and love—Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love offers a way of thinking about science and art that will help us to more fully understand ourselves and how we feel.