Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Behavior

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Overview

You: The Owner's Manual for the brain: an expert, comprehensive, and lively guide that makes sense of all the latest scientific findings about how your brain really works.

We are using our brains at practically every moment of our lives, and yet few of us have the first idea how they work. Much of what we think we know comes from folklore: that we only use 10 percent of our brain, or that drinking kills brain cells. These and other brain myths are wrong, as demonstrated by the ...

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Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life

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Overview

You: The Owner's Manual for the brain: an expert, comprehensive, and lively guide that makes sense of all the latest scientific findings about how your brain really works.

We are using our brains at practically every moment of our lives, and yet few of us have the first idea how they work. Much of what we think we know comes from folklore: that we only use 10 percent of our brain, or that drinking kills brain cells. These and other brain myths are wrong, as demonstrated by the work of neuroscientists who have spent decades studying this complex organ. However, most of what scientists have learned is not known to the world outside their laboratories.

In this readable, lively book, Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang dispel common myths about the brain and provide a comprehensive, useful overview of how it really works. In its pages, you'll discover how to cope with jet lag, how your brain affects your religion, and how men's and women's brains differ. With witty, accessible prose decorated by charts, trivia, quizzes, and illustrations, this book is great for quick reference or extended reading.

Both practical and fun, Welcome to Your Brain is perfect whether you want to impress your friends or simply use your brain better.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Most of us know more about clothing lines or our hometown football team than about our own brains. Authors Sandra Aarmodt and Sam Wang conceived this book as a corrective tutorial for that deficiency, a sort of You: The Owner's Manual about our cranial cavity. Welcome to Your Brain abounds with scientifically proven details that debunk common myths. For example, tipplers will be delighted to learn that alcohol does not destroy brain cells. And did you know that your brain uses only about as much energy as a refrigerator light? Relaxing reading for deep thinkers.
Publishers Weekly

Neuroscientists Aamodt, editor-in-chief of Nature Neuroscience, and Wang, of Princeton University, explain how the human brain-with its 100 billion neurons-processes sensory and cognitive information, regulates our emotional life and forms memories. They also examine how human brains differ from those of other mammals and show what happens to us during dreams. They also tackle such potentially controversial topics as whether men and women have different brains (yes, though what that means in terms of capabilities and behavior, they say, is up in the air) and whether intelligence is shaped more by genes or environment ("genes set an upper limit on people's intelligence, but the environment before birth and during childhood determines whether they reach their full genetic potential"). Distinguishing their book are sidebars that explode myths-no, we do not use only 10% of our brain's potential but nearly all of it-and provide advice on subjects like protecting your brain as you get older. The book could have benefited from a glossary of neurological terms and more illustrations of the brain's structure. Still, this is a terrific, surprisingly fun guide for the general reader. B&w illus. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Aamodt and Wang start their short, snappy tour of the nervous system with a pop quiz-multiple-choice questions designed to grab the reader's attention and prove that most of us have a lot to learn about our brains. They continue in the same vein with a first chapter that examines depictions of brain disorders in the movies as a way to examine our assumptions about the nervous system. (Hint: Disney's Finding Nemo gets a passing grade.) Later sections cover the senses, lifetime development, emotions, learning, and altered states of consciousness. All this and cute cartoons, too! The authors-a science journalist and a neuroscientist, respectively-have written a highly engaging little introduction to the latest in brain science, designed to entice the casual reader who knows little about the subject. One hopes the final product will include a bibliography for those who are inspired to dig deeper. Despite that minor caveat, this book is recommended for all public and school libraries.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596912830
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.62 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Wang

Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., is the editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, the leading scientific journal in the field of brain research. Before becoming an editor, she did her graduate work at the University of Rochester and was a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at Yale University. She lives in California with her husband, a professor of neuroscience.

Sam Wang, Ph.D., is an associate professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. Before becoming a professor, he studied at Caltech, Stanford, and Bell Labs. He has published over forty articles on the brain in leading scientific journals and has received numerous awards. He and his wife, a physician, live in Princeton, New Jersey, with their daughter.

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Read an Excerpt

Quiz: How well do you know your brain?

1.When are the last neurons born in your brain?

a) before birth b) the age of six c) between the ages of 18 and 23

d) in old age

2. Which of the following strategies is the best one for overcoming jet lag?

a) taking melatonin the night after you arrive at your destination b) avoiding daylight for several days c) getting sunlight in the afternoon at your destination d) sleeping with the lights on

3. Your brain uses about as much energy as a) a refrigerator light b) a laptop computer c) an idling car d) a car moving down a freeway

4. Which of the following activities before a test might help you to perform better? (you may choose more than one)

a) having a drink b) having a cigarette c) eating a candy bar d) telling yourself with great conviction that you are good at this kind of test

5. You are in a noisy room, attempting to talk to your friend on your cell phone. To have a clearer conversation you should a) talk more loudly b) cover one ear and listen through the other c) cover your ear when you talk d) cover the mouthpiece when you listen

6. Which of the following is the hardest thing your brain does?

a) doing long division b) looking at a photograph c) playing chess d) sleeping

7. Memory starts to get worse in which decade of life?

a) 30s b) 40s c) 50s d) 60s

8. Which activities kill neurons?

a) drinking three bottles of beer in an evening b) smoking a joint c) dropping acid d) all of the above e) none of the above

9. Which depiction of neurological damage is least realistic?

a) Guy Pearce's character Leonard in Memento b) Drew Barrymore's character Lucy in 50 First Dates c) Dora the Fish in Finding Nemo d) John Nash in A Beautiful Mind

Answers: 1) d, 2) c, 3) a, 4) b and d, 5) d, 6) b, 7) a, 8) e, 9) b

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Disappointed

    Don't bother getting the sample of this book. All you get is the table of contents.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    The brain

    Very hlep fule in so many way.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Very Interesting

    This book is very enjoyable. It is written for the average person to understand with simple examples. It shows the brains impact in many different ways. It is written with many stand alone chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    A Fascinating Read!

    This is an absolutely amazing book! It is quite interesting and very readable. If you are at all interested in how the brain works and dispelling some common myths, you should try this book on for size!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    MUCH cheaper on Amazon

    $2.99 on Amazon. No brainer. Pardon the pun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 31, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2009

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    Posted October 20, 2013

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    Posted January 25, 2012

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    Posted December 3, 2008

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    Posted July 23, 2013

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    Posted March 11, 2011

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