As I've developed this site over the past two months, I've added links to other sites that interest me. I've mentioned a couple of these sites in my previous posts. Beginning this week, I am introducing reviews of my listed blogs. I will select one blog for review every week. I will begin with my all-time favorite, Deric Bownds’ Biology of the Mind.
Dr. Bownd’s is 'Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Zoology and past chair of the Department of Zoology' at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Currently, he is the Director of the University of Wisconsin Program in the Biology of Mind. The program arose from a course Dr. Bownds developed. It aims to make up-to-date scholarship across a range of academic disciplines including 'anthropology, animal behavior,evolutionary theory, linguistics, molecular neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive neuroscience' accessible to both the academic community and the public.
Dr Bownds' is a genuine polymath and his blog is filled with interesting material. His observations are fascinating and, reading through his posts, it doesn't take long to get a sense of a man who is profoundly engaged and curious as he analyzes and synthesizes information across several fields.
You can easily spend hours exploring Bownds' site. Don't miss some of the visual perception experiments he includes, as well as some of the external links to these experiments. I've also enjoyed Dr. Bownds' comments on the self, which is of particular interest because of my own focus on psychoanalysis, self psychology, intersubjectivity and deconstruction. Of course, once you dig into the subject of the self, you can’t help looking at what researchers and theorists in other disciplines are learning.
Scientists who study the mind often arrive at reductionistic banalities. Bownds' presentation is neither banal nor is it reductionist. The cummulitive effect of the posts to Bounds' site rightly leaves the reader with a sense of awe over the extraordinariness of the mind, of consciousness and of being. I know of no other generally accessible website that does such a fine job of presenting what researchers in several disciplines are seeing and saying about the the mind and its biology.
As if all of this isn't enough, Dr. Bownds is a pianist who gives 'home chamber music concerts.' Links to performances are available in his site.