Why Humans Like to Cry: Tragedy, Evolution, and the Brain

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en Limba Engleză Carte Hardback – 22 Nov 2012
Human beings are the only species to have evolved the trait of emotional crying. We weep at tragedies in our lives and in those of others - remarkably even when they are fictional characters in film, opera, music, novels, and theatre. Why have we developed art forms - most powerfully, music - which move us to sadness and tears? This question forms the backdrop to Michael Trimble's discussion of emotional crying, its physiology, and its evolutionary implications.
His exploration examines the connections with other distinctively human features: the development of language, self-consciousness, religious practices, and empathy. Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the brain have uncovered unique human characteristics; mirror neurones, for example, explain why we unconsciously imitate actions and behaviour. Whereas Nietzsche argued that artistic tragedy was born with the ancient Greeks, Trimble places its origins far earlier. His neurophysiological and evolutionary insights shed fascinating light onto this enigmatic part of our humanity.
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ISBN-13: 9780199693184
ISBN-10: 0199693188
Pagini: 232
Ilustrații: Approx 15 black and white illustrations
Dimensiuni: 137 x 224 x 20 mm
Greutate: 0.41 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP Oxford
Locul publicării: Oxford, United Kingdom


Trimble ambitiously cracks the surface of a complex human process.
This is a stimulating adventurous book.
Trimble earned my respect for his erudition and ambition ... an engaging storyteller.
Fascinating volume ... an insightful account ... offers a profound glimpse into the human heart as well as deep insight into the role of art in our lives.

Notă biografică

Professor Trimble is emeritus professor of Behavioural Neurology at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London. His research for many years has been on the behavioural consequences of neurological disorders, especially epilepsy and movement disorders. He has a lifelong research interest in neuroanatomy, hence his ability to explore the neuroanatomical basis of crying. However, he is also a psychiatrist with much clinical experience of mood disorders, and hadinvestigated the latter in patients using neurological techniques, such as brain imaging. He is the author of The Soul in the Brain (Johns Hopkins, 2007).