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The Hidden Spring


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A revolutionary new explanation for sentience from the neuroscientist who discovered how the brain dreams

About the Author

Mark Solms has spent his entire career investigating the mysteries of consciousness. Best known for identifying the brain mechanisms of dreaming and for bringing psychoanalytic insights into modern neuroscience, he is director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and an honorary fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.


Nobody bewitched by these mysteries can afford to ignore the solution proposed by Mark Solms in The Hidden Spring ... fascinating, wide-ranging and heartfelt -- Oliver Burkeman * Guardian *
Rather extraordinary ... One of the worthiest efforts to come out of neuroscience in recent memory ... The thing about these rebel types is that, so much of the time, they're the ones most capable of making the wildest leaps. Not the patient, incremental advances of everyday science, but the world-historical, paradigm-shifting transformations in global consciousness. Or, in Solms' case, a new theory of consciousness itself -- Jason Kehe * Wired *
A remarkable book. It changes everything -- Brian Eno
Truly pioneering. This unification is clearly the direction for the future -- Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate and author * The Disordered Mind *
To say this work is encyclopaedic is to diminish its poetic, psychological and theoretical achievement. This is required reading -- Susie Orbach, author * In Therapy *
An extraordinarily ambitious undertaking ... Solms is successful, to my mind -- Joan Harvey * 3 Quarks Daily *
Convincing ... As with all returns of the repressed, Solms's exhumation of psychoanalysis is sure to be unnerving, especially for those who want to deny Freud's lessons about the workings of desire ... But given the capaciousness of The Hidden Spring, it's remarkably clear, accommodating and exciting -- Jess Keiser * Washington Post *
Intriguing ... If he is correct, the implications are substantial -- Anil Seth * Times Higher Education *
Fascinating and deeply affecting ... Solms argues that feelings, not cognition or perception, are the defining feature of consciousness * New Statesman *
Mark Solms is a serious player in neuropsychology and has contributed serious insights into the mechanisms behind dreaming - returning, interestingly, a degree of lost credibility to Freud ... He essentially posits that consciousness is a measure of our distance at any given point from homeostasis, and an index of the degree to which reality is failing at that instant to match our predictions. You are never more conscious, essentially, than when surveying the reality of life's hotel, with the brochure in one hand and a suitcase in the other -- Simon Evans * Spectator *
Outstanding ... Solms has provided a valuable service with this bold, thorough, occasionally infuriating and always wildly ambitious book -- Charles Fernyhough * Literary Review *
This treatment of consciousness and artificial sentience should be taken very seriously -- Karl Friston, scientific director, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging
Takes aim at the biggest question there is. Solms will challenge your most basic beliefs -- Matthew Cobb, author * The Idea of the Brain *
Solms' vital work has never ignored the lived, felt experience of human beings. His ideas look a lot like the future to me -- Siri Hustvedt, author * The Blazing World *
At last the emperor has found some clothes! For decades, consciousness has been perceived as little more than an illusion. Solms takes a thrilling new approach, grounded in modern neurobiology but finding meaning in a fascinating reconception of the self -- Nick Lane, author * Life Ascending *
Solms and his colleagues are making a brilliant, determined, scrupulous, and (one wants to say) tactful endeavour to approach, in a new way, the oldest question of them all - the mysterious relation of body and mind -- Oliver Sacks

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