"Writing a book about the hardware and software flaws of the human brain is an ingenious idea, and Buonomano has fully delivered on its promise. To a degree that is difficult for most of us to imagine, much less understand, our successes and failures, joys and sufferings, are the product of protein interactions and electrical changes taking place inside our heads. Brain Bugs is a remarkably accessible and engaging introduction to the neuroscience of the human condition."Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Moral Landscape, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The End of Faith
"In Brain Bugs, Dean Buonomano has brilliantly pulled off what few psychological scientists can do. In elegant and clear writing, he masterfully conveys the astonishing capability of the human mind, along with its flaws and limitations. Only when we fully understand our ‘bugs' will we be able to make the best financial, political, marital, and other decisions that are so important in shaping our lives."
Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Eyewitness Testimony
"What a great book, filled with nuggets about how the brain works-and falters-and even some suggestions on how to put it to better use. Very enjoyable."
Joseph LeDoux, New York University neuroscientist and author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self.
"He takes readers on a lively tour of systematic biases and errors in human thinking, citing examples that are staples of psychology courses and other popular books. What is new, however, is Buonomano’s focus on the mechanisms of memory, especially its "associative architecture," as the main causes of the brain’s bugs."
Christopher Chabris, New York Times
"What makes the book all the more compelling is the lucidity with which Buonomano recognizes, amidst its weaknesses, the brain's insurmountable strengths, feats artificial intelligence is ages from reaching--most notably, its remarkable penchant for pattern-recognition and what Buonomano calls "the inherent and irrepressible ability of the brain to build connections and make associations." And whatever we may say of the future of the Internet and technology, even our most optimistic predictions pale in comparison to the remarkable information processes taking place, quite literally, under our very roofs. (And, if we're really keeping score, Buonomano points out that the brain's 90 billion neurons linked by 100 trillion synapses far surpass the web's 20 billion web pages connected by 1 trillion links.)"
Maria Popova, The Atlantic
"One of the things I liked most about this book was the way it leaps from neuron to brain and then to person and on to society and back again, making useful comparisons all the way. ... You won’t eliminate the bugs in your brain by reading this book – we have no delete button for memories or the emotions that lead us astray – but you will understand them better."
Susan Blackmore, Focus Magazine
About the Author
Dean Buonomano is a professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology and the Brain Research Institute at UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles, California.