The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

by Annie Murphy Paul
The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

by Annie Murphy Paul


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A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Washington Post Best Nonfiction Book of 2021
A New York Times Notable Book

A bold new book reveals how we can tap the intelligence that exists beyond our brains—in our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships

Use your head.
That’s what we tell ourselves when facing a tricky problem or a difficult project. But a growing body of research indicates that we’ve got it exactly backwards. What we need to do, says acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul, is think outside the brain. A host of “extra-neural” resources—the feelings and movements of our bodies, the physical spaces in which we learn and work, and the minds of those around us— can help us focus more intently, comprehend more deeply, and create more imaginatively.
The Extended Mind outlines the research behind this exciting new vision of human ability, exploring the findings of neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and examining the practices of educators, managers, and leaders who are already reaping the benefits of thinking outside the brain. She excavates the untold history of how artists, scientists, and authors—from Jackson Pollock to Jonas Salk to Robert Caro—have used mental extensions to solve problems, make discoveries, and create new works. In the tradition of Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind or Daniel Goleman’s Emotional IntelligenceThe Extended Mind offers a dramatic new view of how our minds work, full of practical advice on how we can all think better.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544947665
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/08/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 648,328
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

ANNIE MURPHY PAUL is an acclaimed science journalist and book author who contributes to Scientific American,the New York Times,Time, and Slate, among many other publications. A former senior editor at Psychology Today, Paul is currently a Future Tense fellow at New America, as well as a senior adviser at the Yale University Center for Teaching and Learning. She is the author of The Cult of Personality Testing—a cultural history and scientific critique of personality testing hailed by Malcolm Gladwell as a “fascinating new book”—and Origins, a personal and scientific exploration of how the nine months before birth shape the rest of our lives, selected for The Best American Science Writing. A graduate of Yale College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Paul lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and two sons.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Introduction: Thinking Outside the Brain 1

Part I Thinking with Our Bodies

1 Thinking with Sensations 21

2 Thinking with Movement 44

3 Thinking with Gesture 68

Part II Thinking with Our Surroundings

4 Thinking with Natural Spaces 91

5 Thinking with Built Spaces 114

6 Thinking with the Space of Ideas 139

Part III Thinking with Our Relationships

7 Thinking with Experts 163

8 Thinking with Peers 187

9 Thinking with Groups 211

Conclusion 241

Acknowledgments 253

Notes 256

Index 330

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