The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss

NPR SciFri Book Club Pick

Next Big Idea Club's "Top 21 Psychology Books of 2022"

Behavioral Scientist Notable Books of 2022

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.

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 without them. 

The Grieving Brain addresses:

  • Why it’s so hard to understand that a loved one has died and is gone forever
  • Why grief causes so many emotions—sadness, anger, blame, guilt, and yearning
  • Why grieving takes so long
  • The distinction between grief and prolonged grief
  • Why we ruminate so much after we lose a loved one
  • How we go about restoring a meaningful life while grieving

Based on O’Connor’s own trailblazing neuroimaging work, research in the field, and her real-life stories, The Grieving Brain combines 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. 

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, investigating the effects of grief on the brain and the body. O’Connor earned a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona in 2004, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Following a faculty appointment at UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, she returned to the University of Arizona in 2012. Having grown up in Montana, she now lives in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

ISBN: 9780062946232

ISBN-10: 9780062946232

Publisher: HarperOne

Publication Date: 02/01/2022 - 12:00am

On Sale: 02/01/2022 - 12:00am

Pages: 256

Language: English

Categories

Science / Life Sciences / Neuroscience

Self-help / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Family & Relationships / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Science / Life Sciences / Biology

Family & Relationships / Love & Romance