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Welcome to Your Brain [Kindle Edition]

Sam Wang , Sandra Aamodt
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Does drinking really kill brain cells? Does listening to Mozart make your baby smarter? For all the mileage we've gotten from our own brains, most of us have essentially no idea how they work. We're easily susceptible to myths (like the "fact" that we use only 10% of our brains) and misconceptions (like the ones perpetrated by most Hollywood movies), probably because we've never known where to turn for the truth.But neurologists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang are glad to help. In this funny, accessible book, we get a guided tour of our own minds, what they're made of, how they work, and how they can go wrong. Along the way, we get a host of diagrams, quizzes, and "cocktail party tips" that shed light on the questions we nag each other about. (Can a head injury make you forget your own name? Are dolphins smarter than chimpanzees?)Fun and surprisingly engrossing, Welcome to Your Brain shows you how your brain works, and how you can make it work better.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neuroscientists Aamodt, editor-in-chief of Nature Neuroscience, and Wang, of Princeton University, explain how the human brain—with its 100 billion neurons—processes sensory and cognitive information, regulates our emotional life and forms memories. They also examine how human brains differ from those of other mammals and show what happens to us during dreams. They also tackle such potentially controversial topics as whether men and women have different brains (yes, though what that means in terms of capabilities and behavior, they say, is up in the air) and whether intelligence is shaped more by genes or environment (genes set an upper limit on people's intelligence, but the environment before birth and during childhood determines whether they reach their full genetic potential). Distinguishing their book are sidebars that explode myths—no, we do not use only 10% of our brain's potential but nearly all of it—and provide advice on subjects like protecting your brain as you get older. The book could have benefited from a glossary of neurological terms and more illustrations of the brain's structure. Still, this is a terrific, surprisingly fun guide for the general reader. B&w illus. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Welcome to Your Brain is a delightful and engaging romp through neuroscience by two of its leading lights -- a marvelous collection of facts and findings that answer the questions we all have about our own minds. If the human brain came with an owner's manual, it might well look like this.” —Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

“Welcome To Your Brain is a lucid and fascinating journey into the inner life of the mind, an essential manual for one of nature's most amazing technologies. You'll never think about yourself -- or think about thinking -- quite the same way again.” —Steven Johnson, author of Mind Wide Open and The Ghost Map

“People need to know how the brain works. How else can you competently serve on a jury, or vote for what the government should spend money on, or decide what to make of your child having trouble learning to read? But here's the problem: lots of people find science difficult. Welcome to Your Brain is a great solution. Written by two top neuroscientists, it's great on the facts—accurate, up to date, focuses on all the important topics—AND it's crystal clear and witty and irreverent and wonderfully written. This is a terrific book.” —Robert Sapolsky, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

“If all scientists could write like this, professional science writers would be out of a job.  Welcome to Your Brain is clear, understandable, entertaining and fascinating.  A description of how, in a noisy room, to hear a caller on your cell phone is just one of the many good reasons to buy this book.” —Sandra Blakeslee, co-author, The Body Has a Mind of its Own


Product Details

  • File Size: 3595 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (June 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TWOK8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,905 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brainy, fascinating fun March 21, 2008
Format:Hardcover
"Welcome to Your Brain" examines the kinds of questions that got me interested in neuroscience 20 years ago when I was a college student fascinated by Oliver Sacks.

The tour of our mental landscape is presented in very short chapters that are punctuated by "Did you know?" "Practical tip" and "Myth" pullout boxes. The scientifically-accurate, up-to-date information covers details about how the brain works, while also providing a plethora of fun dinner-table conversation starters.

"Welcome to Your Brain" provides a great entry point for curious students and anyone interested in learning more about science. It's unusual to find a book that covers both the biological details as well as the science and society issues related to the brain.

So if you are curious why you can't tickle yourself, what the Dalai Lama thinks about reaching enlightenment through "artificial" means like drugs or surgery, and how brain function is related to prejudice, you'll want to check out "Welcome to Your Brain."
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
As a sufferer of Parkinson's disease, one of many Neurological diseases suffered today by millions world wide, I found this book both interesting and informative. It is written with real knowledge -as confirmed by my Neurologist, and with humor and just a little smugness at their debunking many of the myths we have held near and dear.
It is at once informative and interesting and really easy to read. It certainly exceeded my expectation. I have recommended it to many people from my Neurologist and other health professionals, to my fellow Parkinson's sufferers and other interested people.
Unfortunately I still can not remember where I put my car keys, and according to my kids, I have also forgotten how to drive.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dispelling myths about the brain March 20, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book by two neuroscientists is an outstanding, fun and smart introductory guide to the function of the brain . They explain how the brain does all sorts of cool things for us (what makes you a morning person vs. a late-night person, how your brain complicates trying to lose weight). The books also explains the origin of common myths (do you really only use 10% of your brain? can a knock the head restore memories?) and whether they are true (in these cases, they are not). The great and unusual thing about this book is that they do this based on real neurobiology but they make it accessible to all adults, no matter their educational background.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I've always wanted to know more about our brains but I wanted to make sure I had the latest research, a book from 20 years ago will not do. This book helps you catch up with the latest research and a lot more. It engages you with useful ways to come to an understanding of how your brain works. This is good for us people who want a simple way to visualize what is going on.

The best part about this book is the authors have created a book that is witty and entertaining. This makes an already interesting subject fun. I'd recommend it for libraries and schools.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sandra Aamodt's and Sam Wang's book entitled "Welcome to the Brain" is a nonfiction scientific work presented with the purpose of educating the public about the human brain and its relationship with its surroundings. This review of the book is written to provide a comprehensive explanation of its various components and offer my personal opinions of its content and style.

The book is a fascinating read which provides an excellent informational background about many facets of neuroscience. Its key feature is that it is geared towards those who don't possess in-depth knowledge of the brain, helping them understand many of the common neurological phenomena that affect individuals. The authors offer multiple examples which introduce various neural functions/trends. This makes the scientific facts that they illustrate easy to follow. On the whole, the book gives an educational overview of the brain which does not confuse the reader. Therefore, I believe it is an effective tool to learn about the human brain. Additionally, the explanations for routine neurological occurrences make the book a useful reference.

The unique style of this book makes the information understandable, especially for those without a background in neuroscience. The book is comprised of examples relevant to a normal person's life and every-day events and it steers away from confusing examples that are detached from real world scenarios that most people encounter. It also contains a multitude of helpful hints that have practical application, including the physiology behind acupuncture.

The book is divided into six sections of informative text accompanied by an introductory quiz. The quiz initiates the reader's interest in the topic by testing his understanding of the brain.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining! June 8, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Who would have guessed that two neuroscientists could write such an entertaining book about brain function? I knew I was going to enjoy this book when I got to page 10 and, in a discussion of which movies portray brain disorders accurately and which don't, I read: "Another offender is the movie 50 First Dates (2004), which portrays a pattern of memory loss that never occurs in any known neurological condition. Drew Barrymore plays a character who collects new memories each day and then discards them all overnight, clearing the way for a brand-new beginning the next day. In this way she is able to tolerate more than one date with Adam Sandler."

Written with humor and chock-full of real and practical information about your brain, this book is a worthwhile read for anyone. Interspersed with the chapers are "snippet boxes" of "Did you know?" "Myth" and "Practical tip" sections where you will learn things like: why we sometimes sneeze when we look into a bright light, why we yawn, why we can't tickle ourselves, that listening to Mozart WON'T make your child smarter, but learning to play an instrument will, how to overcome jet lag, how to hear better on your cell phone in noisy situations. You'll find sections on how your senses work, how your brain changes as you age, how your brain affects your emotions - even a chapter on how drugs affect your brain. Very interesting reading, from start to finish
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good
Published 2 months ago by Ryan L. Wey
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book
This book is fascinating. It delivers everything it promises in a scientifically written but easy to understand format, and I'm very glad that I found it and bought it.
Published 3 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and informative book
Very interesting book. Clearly written with humor and understandable information for the layman..
Published 3 months ago by Margie Moranville
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable
The authors wrote clearly and at a level that was not trivial but definitely understandable to those of us who are not in the medical field. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joseph Frank Ellmer
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get through
I thought this was going to be a fun and entertaining book, but it's really hard to read...it's slow and dull in many places.
Published 5 months ago by L. K. Larson
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read and understand
Really enjoyed reading. Great information on how the brain works. Not too much over whelming technical terminology as to make difficult to understand.
Published 5 months ago by Diane Fletcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Read Something Else
This book starts out talking about Hollywood movies and by page 32 is talking how you look in a swim suit. Yikes. I felt like I was watching popular culture TV. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book for non-academics (and academics too) who want to learn...
Written in every-day language, with brilliant stories to reinforce the explanations. Really enjoyed it, and bought it for others. Learned a lot. . .. .
Published 6 months ago by Rossan, Sheila
5.0 out of 5 stars A Readable/Understanable Book
there are a lot of books on the market about our brain. This one is so wonderful because it doesn't make you wonder if you can understand what the author(s)is/are talking about. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dr. R. D. B. Laime
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it like the Bible
This is a very nice introduction to contemporary neuroscience and it can be read like the Bible: pick any chapter that you find interesting; the argument is not sequential and the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Richard B. Schwartz
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