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J Allan Hobson

The Chemistry of conscious states

The relationship between consciousness and the brain is something which has been pondered upon by a great many people. In The chemistry of conscious states J Allen Hobson looks at how the question relates to dealing with mental illness. Hobson is an expert on the effects of sleep disorders, and has several interesting case studies in the book. He makes the point that whatever your philosophy, you should treat mental illness by dealing with both the mind and the brain. Hence rather than a having a deep divide between treatment with drugs and with psychoanalysis, it shoudl be recognised that drug treatments are useful in some circumstances, but it's more important to know about a patient's lifestyle.

If you want to know about the chemistry of the brain, there's a bit in this book but it doesn't go into very much detail. Also I found the philosophical part rather disappointing - Hobson starts the book by saying how revolutionary his ideas of consciousness are, but does little to substantiate this claim. However the book improves as it gets on to the case studies of patients and in particular their sleep patterns, their dreams and some whose waking life is dream-like. Although it isn't really a self-help book, the last part of the book does have some useful information on how changes to your sleep patterns can improve your well-being.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0316367621
Salesrank: 3258483
Weight:0.65 lbs
Published: 1996 Little Brown & Co (P)
Amazon price $9.95
Marketplace:New from $9.50:Used from $1.94
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 300 pages  
ISBN: 0316367540
Salesrank: 1536937
Weight:1.35 lbs
Published: 1995 Little, Brown US
Marketplace:New from £24.25:Used from £1.49
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0316367621
Salesrank: 1189109
Weight:0.65 lbs
Published: 1996 Time Warner UK
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 41.86:Used from CDN$ 1.62
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Product Description
Can complex mental states - feeling, thought, memory, fantasy, dreaming - be explained by electro-chemical events in the brain? If so, how? Hobson uses anecdote and example to illustrate his theory that the interplay of the brain's two chemical systems regulates our waking and dreaming lives.