Neuro-economics, neuro-marketing, neuro-aesthetics, neuro-theology are just a few of the novel disciplines that have been inspired by the combination of ancient knowledge and recent discoveries concerning the way the human brain works. The mass media are full of news items featuring colour photos of the brain, that show us the precise location in which a certain thought or emotion occurs, thus leading us to believe that we can directly observe, with no mediation, the brain at work. But are things really as they seem? This text, written by two experts in psychology and neuropsychology, discusses some of the familiar ideas usually associated with the mind-body, brain-psyche, and nature-culture relationships, and warns the reader that a biased use of the opportunities offered by new, powerful, neuro-imaging technologies could have significant cultural effects.
Paolo Legrenzi teaches Cognitive Psychology at the University of Venice, where he heads the School of Advanced Studies.
Carlo Umilt teaches Neuropsychology at the University of Padua, where he heads the Galilean School of Higher Education.