The Playful Brain: The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind

The Playful Brain: The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind

by Richard Restak, Scott Kim


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594485459
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/06/2011
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 586,611
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard M. Restak, M.D., is a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, and Clinical Professor of Neurology affiliated with the George Washington University Medical Center. He is the author of the bestselling The Brain--a companion to the PBS series of the same name--as well as The Mind, The Brain Has a Mind of Its Own, and The Brain: The Last Frontier. He lives in Washington, D.C..

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

The Art and Science of Brain Enhancement 12

Learning to Solve Puzzles 17


1 Working Memory: Brain Juggling 41

2 Long-term Memory: Imagining the Future by Remembering the Past 57


3 Perceptual Skill Learning: The Sommelier and the Hockey Player 87

4 Visual Thinking: Seeing, Not Just Looking 96

5 Spatial Thinking: The Challenge of Mental Rotation 116

6 Listening: The Foley Artist and the Cocktail Party 144

7 Motor Skill Learning: Of Mental Maps and Pickpockets 159

8 Time: Clock Time vs. Brain Time 180


9 Thinking in Words: The Hammer, the Saw, and the Hatchet 191

10 Logic: Reasoning in Uncertain Situations 203

11 Emotions and Thinking: The Anger Superiority Effect 229

12 Mathematics: Doing the Numbers at the Checkout Line 239

13 Illusions: Shadows, Balls, and Rotating Snakes 255

14 Creativity: The Magic Matches of Carlo Reverberi 267

Conclusions 283

Acknowledgments 285

Resources 287

Index 289

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