Between Our Ears: A layman’s guide to his mind

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  4. Between Our Ears: A Layman's Guide to His Mind - Terry Radford - Google Livres

Learn how the world's top memory experts concentrate and retrieve any information at will. Everything you need to improve your memory is here! I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Good Days Start With Gratitude: It's not your fault if you lack self-discipline. Discover simple habits and exercises to get disciplined and achieve your goals. About the Author Sandra Aamodt is the editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience , the leading scientific journal in the field of brain research.

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This is a good introduction to a lot of topics in neuroscience and psychology. It has brief coverage of topics like sensation and perception, intelligence, emotions, and brain structure. There's a lot of good information for the average reader since it's incredibly broad - low ratings for this book often suggest there's "no new information.

For an average reader who didn't take a lot of neuroscience or psychology classes, it is likely that you will gain knowledge from reading this book. I do have a degree in the field but don't use it and I found that I had forgotten or never known some of the information presented. There are two things I would like to pick on the book for: The reader needs to choose a place to interrupt his train of thought, read the tip, and pick back up.

This splitting of attention is not ideal. OK, I'm interested in a topic, where do I go next? Point me to other books, journal papers, newspaper articles, anything. Keep me interested, teach me where to find more information. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Sam Wang's book is interesting to read and gives excellent deep background on research supporting what we know today about brain function.

It is not nearly as readable and immediately useful as Medina's Brain Rules, but reading both gives you broader understanding of the human brain. His more academic approach to writing does use some specific examples but it is challenging to follow the implications of the stories as presented. I recommend it as a good read for those of us involved in persuasive communication, education, and public relations.

One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. This book is both interesting and educational, but also somewhat entertaining. My son had a severe brain injury and survived. In rehab, he would notice little pings in his head, we decided it was a nerve ending that had been severed, finding it's other end, re-routed. At that point a new memory or something relearned had been established. It was amazing to see how the brain healed itself in so many areas. This book explains the differant parts and how they all interact upon each other.

Between Our Ears: A Layman’S Guide to His Mind

It explains in fairly simple terms the amazing and machanical way the brain works. One can start on the first few chapters or jump to the middle or ending. In this easy to read and informative book, authors Sandra Aamodt, Ph. Even though many of the concepts in this book are thought to be heavy and complicated, the authors make them accessible to any reader curious about how the human mind works. The authors are both leading figures in the field of neuroscience and use the knowledge gained from current research when discussing the brain and how it functions in the everyday lives of humans.

The most obvious success of this book is how the authors relay their expertise about a complicated topic and make it fun to read and entertaining. Throughout the book there are examples taken from experiences that everyone is familiar with and use them to explain how the brain works and why it works that way.

The authors present common misconceptions about the brain, interesting facts and ideas to help the reader get the most out their brains, such as protecting our minds as we age. Welcome to Your Brain is pages and separated into six key parts which organize different aspects of brain function. The six parts that are discussed in the book are your brain and the world, coming to your senses, how your brain changes throughout life, your emotional brain, your rational brain and your brain in altered states. Some key topics that are covered in these six portions of the book are biological clocks, weight regulation, vision, brain development, emotions, aging, love, how to make decisions and memory.

Overall, the writing style is quite simple and even too elementary at times. For readers that have a general working knowledge of neuroscience topics this book may seem too simplistic at times. Wang are still quite effective at explaining the reasons for why our brains act the way they do. If you are looking for a book with detailed explanations of neurophysiology, signaling in the brain or how systems like visual and auditory function this is probably not the book to read. In conclusion, even though the style of writing is in layman's terms and intended for readers with a limited knowledge of the brain, it is still effective in illuminating many interesting topics.

Your Brain and the World The first part of the book is about how your brain interacts with the world and how to help your brain through common pitfalls. In the very first chapter, the authors explore the concept of trusting your brain and if you can be certain of what your brain is telling you. The authors explained that "looking at photographs was harder than playing chess". They explained that it is easy to program computers to play chess and even beat grand masters, but it is almost impossible to program a computer to make sense of the visual world.

They explain that, "when we look at, say, a dinner table, it seems obvious that the water glass is one object that is in front of the other, like a vase of flowers, but this turns out to be a sophisticated calculation with many possible answers. The authors go on to debunk the myth that humans only use 10 percent of their brains.

They contend that this is completely false and "in reality, you use your whole brain every day. Coming to Your Senses In the second portion of this book, Dr. Wang explore the five senses which include vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch. One interesting study that they explain was how the brain gives space to a specific person. The study concluded that some neurons respond to images associated with a particular celebrity. For example, "one fired spikes in response to all photos of Jennifer Aniston-except the one where she appeared with Brad Pitt-and did not respond to pictures of anyone else.

Most people try to cover their other ear in order to hear better, but this is not the best way to hear better in a loud room. Aamodt "the way to do it is to cover the mouthpiece. How Your Brain Changes Throughout Life In the third part of the book, how your brain changes throughout life, certain aspects such as aging, learning and the evolution of the brain throughout life are discussed.

In the first chapter about growing brains the authors discussed the myth that listening to Mozart makes babies smarter and how babies rely on their environment to learn. Furthermore, how humans are able to learn language, what happens during adolescence, if it is helpful to cram for exams, synaptic plasticity and how to protect your brain as you get older. One suggestion that is given in the book is to exercise to keep your brain sharp. The authors write, "Even people who begin exercising in their risk of dementia by as much as half.

The role of the amygdala in fear responses is discussed. One study about the effect of a damaged amygdala brings to light an important role of the amygdala. Aamodt describe that when the amygdala is removed or damaged, people "fail to respond to risks with increased heart rate and sweaty palms. Also, in this section of the book the authors describe anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, how to treat a phobia and how to increase your happiness.

This part of the book provides intelligent insight on the nature of being happy and how to increase your chances of finding happiness. Your Rational Brain In the most informative section of the book, Dr. Aamodt discuss the rational part of the brain and how we use it. Topics include how to make sound decisions, intelligence, memory, autism and cognitive gender differences. Share your thoughts with other customers.


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The mind is what the brain does. Fortunately, throughout a process lasting several thousand years, evolutionary improvement of the brain has expanded and increased substantially the mind's capabilities. To the best of my knowledge, no computer has as yet been constructed that can duplicate what the mind does. Until now, the finest human minds have been unable to improve on a design that David Linden characterizes as "a cobbled-together mess.

Reuben Lucius Goldberg was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor who gained renown for inventing immensely complicated machines that could perform the simplest of tasks, such as filling a spoon with sugar. What he offers in this book is to be his reader's guide to a "strange and often illogical world of neural function," pointing out during the guided tour "the most unusual and counterintuitive aspects of brain and neural design and explaining how they mold our lives.

Linden offers an explanation of sorts on Pages when explaining accidental design. What about intelligent design? Others have shared their reasons for holding this book in such high regard. I agree with those reasons, of course, while adding two of my own: First, to the extent possible, unlike Rube Goldberg, Linden explains even the most complicated terms and processes in layman's terms.

He does NOT dumb down the material. Rather, he uses a nomenclature that creates access to much of the material for those who such as I who took only the required science courses and refuse to remember anything about them. Also, I really appreciate Linden's wit. He immediately establishes and then sustains a personal, almost not quite collegial rapport with his reader.

There is a playful, sometimes irreverent tone to his many of his comments. He obviously enjoys learning and seems to enjoy helping others to learn at least as much. This is a very interesting, enlightening read that changed the way I think about the human brain. Think for a moment about the daunting challenge that David Linden took on when he decided to write this book: Linden had to accomplish all of that merely as a foundation for then explaining his main thesis, namely that the brain is actually a somewhat inefficient, duct-taped and baling-wired, evolutionary "work-in-progress" and how that fact has shaped major realms of human experience such as memory, dreams, and the very human notions of love and religion.

The book makes many interesting points which are well-reviewed by the other customer reviews herein; overarchingly, it serves as seminal counterpoint to what might be called "brain-worship" - i. In fact, scientific study of the brain reveals many quirks, imperfections, and idiosyncrasies that are the residua of the evolutonary process. Ironic but true that we sensitive, insightful, sentient humans have brains with more in common with baboons, rats, and frogs than we care to admit. I vacillated between assigning it 5 stars vs.

Probably, it is a "5-star" book for people who already have a background in science or medicine, but a "4-star" book for a larger, general audience.

Between Our Ears: A Layman's Guide to His Mind - Terry Radford - Google Livres

Because the brain is so immensely complicated, readers without a lot of science are probably going to skip over some of the technical descriptions of brain development and function, or else feel overwhelmed at times. At a rudimentary level, it is a wonderful, fairly painless introductory textbook of brain science - but still a textbook nonetheless, and therefore slow going at times. At the higher level, it explicates a thesis about the "accidental" nature of the human brain that powerfully dispels the myth of the brain as a miraculously engineered organ of perfection.

I sort of backed into reading The Accidental Mind "accidentally": In studying addictions medicine to obtain a credential in the field, I read an article on the role of the prefrontal cortex in addictions that I found challenging even though I am a physician , so I decided to back up a bit and read a more general introduction to the prefrontal cortex. That is how I located David Linden's most recent book, "The Compass of Pleasure", published in , which purports to explain the brain structures involved in the human experience of pleasure and addiction.

However, I also stumbled upon "The Accidental Mind" and decided to read it first as a general review of brain organization and activity. I've previewed "The Compass of Pleasure" and I anticipate it to be an even better read than The Accidental Mind; on first blush it appears that Linden has tackled a more manageable topic with "A Compass of Pleasure" and, it appears that he is coming into his own as a science writer for a general audience.

Nonetheless, I would enthusiastically recommend The Accidental Mind as an enjoyable and serious introduction to how our brains work. See all 59 reviews.


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  4. Most recent customer reviews. Published 6 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Published on July 11, Published on July 8, Linden strives to humble our understanding of the brain, and does so in spectacular fashion. Truly a must read! Published on February 16, Published on July 21, Published on July 18, Published on April 28, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.


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