Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To

Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To

by Dean Burnett
Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To

Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To

by Dean Burnett


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"Entertaining…[A] grand tour around modern cognitive science and psychology." —Wall Street Journal

The brain is an absolute marvel—the seat of our consciousness, the pinnacle (so far) of evolutionary progress, and the engine of human experience. But it’s also messy, fallible, and about 50,000 years out of date. We cling to superstitions, remember faces but not names, miss things sitting right in front of us, and lie awake at night while our brains endlessly replay our greatest fears. Idiot Brain is for anyone who has ever wondered why their brain appears to be sabotaging their life—and what on earth it is really up to.

A Library Journal Science Bestseller and a Finalist for the Goodreads Choice Award in Science & Technology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393354119
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 07/11/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 363,029
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist and research associate at the Centre for Medical Education at Cardiff University. He writes a popular science blog called Brain Yapping for the Cosmic Shambles Network and dabbles in stand-up comedy. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Mind controls 5

How the brain regulates the body, and usually makes a mess of things

2 The gift of memory (keep the receipt) 34

The human memory system, and its strange features

3 Fear: nothing to be scared of 75

The many ways in which the brain makes us constantly afraid

4 Think you're clever, do you? 112

The baffling science of intelligence

5 Did you see this chapter coming? 152

The haphazard properties of the brain's observational systems

6 Personality: a testing concept 188

The complex and confusing properties of personality

7 Group hug! 222

How the brain is influenced by other people

8 When the brain breaks down … 263

Mental health problems, and how they come about

Afterword 303

Acknowledgments 304

References 305

Index 321

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