Economists have long been hindered in their attempts to understand market bubbles and crashes by their assumption that financial behaviour is driven by purely cognitive processes, either rational or irrational. These economists could be said to practice 'economics from the neck up'. By so doing they unknowingly maintain within Economics and Finance an ancient mind-body split, one we inherited from Platonism and Christianity. Yet such an assumption is today scientifically untenable.
In this book John Coates draws on research in physiology and medicine to show how the body and brain evolved together and work in harness to produce our behaviour; how signals from the body can occasionally produce irrational exuberance and pessimism; and finally how market crises can lead not only to economic catastrophes but to medical ones as well.