Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

by Gary Wenk

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199826582
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/30/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Gary L. Wenk is a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center.

Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1 Introduction: Food, Drugs, and You Chapter 2 Memories, Magic&Major Addiction Chapter 3 Euphoria, Depression&Madness Chapter 4 Your Brain's Anchor to Reality Chapter 5 Marijuana in the Brain Chapter 6 Simple Molecules That Turn You On and Off Chapter 7 Sleeping vs. waking Chapter 8 Remnants of an Ancient Past Chapter 9 Brain Enhancement and Other Magical Beliefs A Little Quiz Suggested Readings Index

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Your Brain on Food 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
bragan on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This book could have been more accurately titled Your Brain on Drugs, although I suppose that phrase might already have been trademarked, and, as the author points out, the line between foods and drugs is really quite a blurry one, anyway. Basically, it's an overview of how various chemicals we humans put into our bodies -- whether medicinally, recreationally, or as food -- affect the working of our brains. This involves lots of discussions of neurotransmitters with long, unwieldy names and complicated descriptions of the intricate ways in which they interact inside our skulls. But Wenk generally writes very clearly, keeps things reasonably simple without dumbing them down, and breaks up the difficult subject matter a bit by occasionally providing interesting facts about the cultural history of various substances and personal anecdotes about ill-advised ways his students have experimented with drugs. All in all, I'd say it's a pretty good introduction to the subject, if you're interested in something that's short, but reasonably detailed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book from a library. Having flipped through some of the pages, I found the book riveting, and checked it out. Yes, the way it is written does require some very basic knowle dge of the way neuron signaling and communication works. The book itself contains all the explanation a reader needs right off the bat so the said reader can then easily proceed to the wealth of information contained in this wonderful written book. In one of the reviews someone lamented that the book's author called vitamins "drugs", and I feel it's such a sophomoric objection to wording that it poses more questions about the reviewer than about the book. Of course, vitamins are drugs, and so I food, and so is anything that alters the homeostasis of the biological system. Getting hung up on the word "drug" betrays a very narrow understanding of the concept. I hope the net reader isn't bogged down with these silly objections. I love the way the book gives very clear explanations of the role of various chemicals and hormones/neurotransmitters. I am left with no doubt, for example, why dopamine blockers are given as a first step in treating acute psychosis. Or what the role of serotonin is and how it is affected by food. There are also wonderful bits of information about some plants in each chapter that you will be hard pressed to find on your own. For example, did you know that you can neutralize the effect of belladonna or datura in your body by ingesting a snowdrop tincture? I find factoids like that absolutely fascinating. There is a lot to unpack in this small book, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I am on my third reading of it, and I am definitely going to buy it in physical form. It's that good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is loaded with information, the problem that the author has, is that he has a hard time staying with his target audience. There are countless times where he uses scientific terminology to the point where the reader just flat out gets exhausted reading the terms over and over; other scientific writes tend to state the term and then use another colloquial term to represent the scientific term for the remained of the chapter. Although his grammar is correct, his sentence structure is difficult to read through. He tends to go off on small tangents about information that may be correct, but is ultimately irrelevant to the big picture that he is trying to convey, i.e. stating a plants name in its scientific term such as the genius and species name, such as saying Solanum lycopersicum as opposed to saying tomato plant. Although the title can be proven logically as correct, it is misleading to the colloquial audience. This book is not about food in layman's terms, so if you want to buy this book because you think it will talk about french fries and burgers and how they might affect aspects of your brain, you have the wrong book. There are facts in the book that you can use to help navigate your every day life, there are things that he explains that can really affect the way you view certain everyday things; but it took a lot of patience to get through the book, I rated it at a 3 solely because of the information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NUTRProf More than 1 year ago
The title of the book is at best deceptive. There is no discussion of food in the book. There is a brief mention of chocolate and theobromin and a short discussion of nutmeg (a food???). Although broccoli is featured on the cover it is not mentioned in the text of the book. The book has many factual and scientific errors in it and on occasion the language doesn't make sense. The author calls vitamins drugs! The sole subject of this book is the effect of various drugs in the brain. If one wants to now about the effects of food on the brain, you won't find it here. Maybe try David Kessler's book. Don't waste your money - at best it is dishonest. Hard to see how it was published as such.