The Grieving Brain : The Surprising Science Of How We Learn From Love And Loss - Mary-Frances O'Connor

The Grieving Brain

The Surprising Science Of How We Learn From Love And Loss

By: Mary-Frances O'Connor

Hardcover | 5 December 2022

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A renowned grief expert and neuroscientist shares groundbreaking discoveries about what happens in our brain when we grieve, providing a new paradigm for understanding love, loss, and learning.

For as long as humans have existed, we have struggled when a loved one dies. Poets and playwrights have written about the dark cloak of grief, the deep yearning, how devastating heartache feels. But until now, we have had little scientific perspective on this universal experience.

In The Grieving Brain, neuroscientist and psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor, PhD, gives us a fascinating new window into one of the hallmark experiences of being human. O’Connor has devoted decades to researching the effects of grief on the brain, and in this book, she makes cutting-edge neuroscience accessible through her contagious enthusiasm, and guides us through how we encode love and grief. With love, our neurons help us form attachments to others; but, with loss, our brain must come to terms with where our loved ones went, or how to imagine a future that encompasses their absence.

Based on O’Connor’s own trailblazing neuroimaging work, research in the field, and her real-life stories, The Grieving Brain does what the best popular science books do, combining storytelling, accessible science, and practical knowledge that will help us better understand what happens when we grieve and how to navigate loss with more ease and grace.

About the Author

Mary-Frances O'Connor, PhD is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, where she directs the Grief, Loss and Social Stress (GLASS) Lab, which investigates the effects of grief on the brain and the body. O'Connor received her BA in psychology from Northwestern University in 1996, and went on to earn a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona in 2004. She completed clinical training at the formerly named UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital and has worked in clinical settings from Arizona State Prison to the Revlon UCLA Breast Center.

Soon after, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She then joined the faculty at UCLA before moving to the psychology department at the University of Arizona in 2012. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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