Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain

Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain

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by Tom Stafford, Matt Webb
     
 

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The brain is a fearsomely complex information-processing environment--one that often eludes our ability to understand it. At any given time, the brain is collecting, filtering, and analyzing information and, in response, performing countless intricate processes, some of which are automatic, some voluntary, some conscious, and some unconscious.
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Overview

The brain is a fearsomely complex information-processing environment--one that often eludes our ability to understand it. At any given time, the brain is collecting, filtering, and analyzing information and, in response, performing countless intricate processes, some of which are automatic, some voluntary, some conscious, and some unconscious.
Cognitive neuroscience is one of the ways we have to understand the workings of our minds. It's the study of the brain biology behind our mental functions: a collection of methods--like brain scanning and computational modeling--combined with a way of looking at psychological phenomena and discovering where, why, and how the brain makes them happen.
Want to know more? Mind Hacks is a collection of probes into the moment-by-moment works of the brain. Using cognitive neuroscience, these experiments, tricks, and tips related to vision, motor skills, attention, cognition, subliminal perception, and more throw light on how the human brain works. Each hack examines specific operations of the brain. By seeing how the brain responds, we pick up clues about the architecture and design of the brain, learning a little bit more about how the brain is put together.
Mind Hacks begins your exploration of the mind with a look inside the brain itself, using hacks such as "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Turn On and Off Bits of the Brain" and "Tour the Cortex and the Four Lobes." Also among the 100 hacks in this book, you'll find:
Release Eye Fixations for Faster Reactions
See Movement When All is Still
Feel the Presence and Loss of Attention
Detect Sounds on the Margins of Certainty
Mold Your Body Schema
Test Your Handedness
See a Person in Moving Lights
Make Events Understandable as Cause-and-Effect
Boost Memory by Using Context
Understand Detail and the Limits of Attention
Steven Johnson, author of "Mind Wide Open" writes in his foreword to the book, "These hacks amaze because they reveal the brain's hidden logic; they shed light on the cheats and shortcuts and latent assumptions our brains make about the world." If you want to know more about what's going on in your head, then Mind Hacks is the key--let yourself play with the interface between you and the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781449390969
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/22/2004
Series:
Hacks
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
396
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Tom Stafford has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and is currently a research associate in the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. He is also an associate editor of the Psychologist magazine and has previously worked as a freelance writer and researcher for the BBC.


Matt Webb's background is in new media. His freelance activities include an IM interface to Google, which predated the Google API and is included in O Reilly s Google Hacks. He launched a project to find the Web's favorite color that was featured on BBC News Online and national newspapers in the UK. His current job in R&D at the BBC involves these kinds of projects internally, and gives him experience at addressing abstract social and technological ideas to mixed audiences. He was a popular speaker at O Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference in 2004.

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Mind Hacks: Tips and Tools for Using Your Brain 2.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
mikehill33 More than 1 year ago
This book is slapped together. Unimpressed!
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Jon Storey More than 1 year ago
I cant read the sample either.
Phillip Lurry More than 1 year ago
I downloaded the sample but was unable to read it. Some error that wont allow me to read it. This sucks. I hope this does not continue in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Remember those optical illusions you read in books as a kid? If these were school books, they probably gave no deeper explanation than to say that these were just tricks that the mind played on itself. Now, this book offers to take you into a deeper understanding of those and other related phenomena. The book is totally at variance with the other O'Reilly Hacks books. Those concern various hardware and software. Whereas Stafford and Webb discuss the wetware of your brain. Much of the text should be familiar to biology and psychology students. But not to programmers. The authors summarise what they consider salient concepts about the brain, in general language. Along with references to research papers in journals and websites. All this is shoehorned into the format of a Hacks book. Which is quite unlike a standard biology text layout. So the book is unconventional in several ways. One of the hacks is famous in maths. There are three doors. Behind one is a prize, while the other two have goats [i.e. no prize]. You pick a door. Then the umpire looks behind the other 2 doors and opens one that has a goat. So do you switch doors or not, in order to maximise your chances of getting the prize? You may well find the book unsatisfying. The authors make it plain that much remains unknown about the brain. A conceptual incompleteness that cannot be avoided in any text.