The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture

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Pantheon Books, 1998 - 397 pages
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"The human hand is so beautifully formed, its actions are so powerful, so free and yet so delicate that there is no thought of its complexity as an instrument; we use it as we draw our breath, unconsciously." With these words written in 1833, Sir Charles Bell expressed the central theme of some of the most far-reaching and exciting research being done in science today. For humans, the lifelong apprenticeship with the hand begins at birth. We are guided by our hands, and we are indelibly shaped by the knowledge that comes to us through our use of them.
"The Hand delineates the ways in which our hands have shaped our development--cognitive, emotional, linguistic, and psychological--in light of the most recent research being done in anthropology, neuroscience, linguistics, and psychology. How did structural changes in the hand prepare human ancestors for increased use of tools and for our own remarkable ability to design and manufacture them? Is human language rooted in speech, or are its deepest roots to be found in the gestures that made communal hunting and manufacture possible? Is early childhood experience in reaching and grasping the secret of the human brain's unique capacity to redefine intelligence with each new generation in every culture and society?
Frank Wilson's inquiry incorporates the experiences and insights of jugglers, surgeons, musicians, puppeteers, and car mechanics. His fascinating book illuminates how our hands influence learning and how we, in turn, use our hands to leave our personal stamp on the world.

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LibraryThing Review

Avis d'utilisateur  - mullinator52 - LibraryThing

Mr. Wilson explains his concept of how the development and use of the hand has shaped human intelligence over the ages. It is an interesting topic and becomes very broad in his presentation. I am glad I read the book, although it was slow reading at times. Consulter l'avis complet

THE HAND: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture

Avis d'utilisateur  - Kirkus

An extended synthesizing meditation on the human hand from Wilson (Tone Deaf and All Thumbs?, 1986). Green-thumbed, butter-fingered, hamfisted—whatever its talents (or lack thereof), the hand is more ... Consulter l'avis complet

Table des matières

THE ARM WE BROUGHT DOWN FROM THE TREES
61
HAND EYE AND
95
THE GRIP OF THE PAST
112
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À propos de l'auteur (1998)

Frank R. Wilson is a neurologist and the medical director of the Peter F. Ostwald Health Program for Performing Artists at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. He is a graduate of Columbia College in New York City and of the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. The author of Tone Deaf and All Thumbs?, he lives with his wife, Patricia, in Danville, California. He can be reached by e-mail at handoc@well.com.

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