Passions of the Brain
Why sin is so tempting
Neuropsychologist Margriet Sitskoorn believes that the seven deadly sins are firmly anchored in our brains. Every day we are forced to tame our lusts and resist temptations large and small. Sitskoorn is far from surprised that we do not always succeed.
Through an examination of intriguing stories, fascinating scientific findings and controversial dilemmas, Sitskoorn shows how sins determine the paths we take, trip us up, get us into difficulties and then urge us to carry on. In Passions of the Brain she looks at addiction, antisocial behaviour, manipulation, pain and power, but she also explores pleasure, motivation, empathy and wisdom.
Sitskoorn’s compelling arguments will convince the reader that all the exciting things in life happen mostly, and directly, in the brain. So our brains rather than our personalities are greedy, lazy, righteous and so on. Sins have an enticing power, so there are good reasons why hatred, envy, pride, sloth, anger, lust and gluttony are so potent. Sitskoorn concludes that they each have some merit within them as well.
Margriet Sitskoorn is professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Tilburg. She carries out research into the relationship between brain and behaviour. Alongside her scientific work she writes columns for various popular science magazines and works on a number of television programmes. She is also the author of The Makeable Brain and Long Live the Brain.