I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Most of this book (the actual science) was very interesting, with a lot of valid and important ideas about neuroplasticity.
If you have OCD or know someone who has read the same author’s Brain Lock (which has much of the practical information without the metaphysics). This book is good. the narration excellent and there is a short PDF is available with diagrams of the parts and uses of the brain and nerve cells if you are not already familiar with these.
The book is largely conversational and easy to listen to, but from time to time drops into metaphysical discussions. The last third the book takes off to a somewhat unscientific path attempting to demonstrate that the soul must exists and connects to the body via quantum effects. Having such ideas is not inherently unscientific, but, to be science a clear hypothesis should be stated along with an experiment differentiating the cases. Here the book is quite weak. The logic seems to be 1) We don’t understand consciousness 2) We don’t understand quantum effects 3) Quantum theory has elements of consciousness and randomness 4) The author’s religion (Buddhism) supports the idea of a non-brain mind learning to control the brain. Thus) mindfulness must control the brain via quantum effects through randomness. Now I believe consciousness is a product of quantum effects (as is everything else) but that does not imply the mind is separate from the brain. The brain seems quite capable of changing itself and capable of all the practical aspects of OCD treatments without resorting to magic.
Redirect was not very exciting but it had a number of interesting tidbits. The narrator, Gover Gardner, was great as usual. Redirect tries to make it clear that we, as a society, should test ideas with experiments before spending millions on programs that ???make sense??? but may not actually be affective. Redirect also describes the interesting technique of ???Story Editing??? which, although not as magical as The Secret, would likely be more successful.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Do take some time to look at the included PDF before you start listening otherwise you will be frustrated at various points. The book does repeat some things from other of Ramachandran???s books, but it was all stuff that was interesting enough to bear repeating. The book also becomes speculative at points, but the author notes where experimental results end and speculation begins and he also points out that speculation is an important part of the scientific method. The speculation becomes a little wild near the end of the book when the author attempts to frame art in term of neuroscience, but it was interesting to think about nevertheless. The book mostly describes unusual neurological conditions, links them to specific brain regions, and describes experiments to test related theories. This is quite good fun if you are in to that sort of thing ??? if you are not, it might seem dry.
Audible carries a number of books on neuroscience, neuroplasticity and the like. I read everyone I come across and so I joined Macknik, Martinez-Conde, and Blakeslee in "Sleights of Mind". While it reveals some of the cognitive and perceptual aspects of illusions, it makes many applications to everyday life as well. This book opens the listener to the world in unexpected ways. For example, the authors point out that painting is magic on canvass. They make the point that deceptions originating in our own perceptual spheres are always readily at hand – when known and when not known. Using magic as the common thread throughout, the authors inform at every turn. If you are interested in magic this is wonderful. If you are interested in perception, it is very informative. If you have given perception, memory, and cognition dissonance little or no thought, do it now. Well written and wonderfully read by Lloyd James.