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J

Burlington, VT, United States | Member Since 2014

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  • Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sian Beilock
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (44)

    Beilock examines how attention and working memory guide human performance, how experience and practice and brain development interact to create our abilities, and how stress affects all these factors.

    andrew says: "Buzz Word Festival"
    "Not a neuroscience book, not much new here."
    Overall

    This book is like a bad rehashing of Blink, Freakanomics, and The Body Has a Mind of Its Own.

    And don't be deceived: this is a psychology book, not a brain science book. Although the author occasionally sprinkles in reference to the "pre-frontal cortex" or the "anterior cingulate cortex", she does not take the next step to enlighten us as to how the connectivity, organization, and activation patterns of these regions are relevant to the stated objectives of the book. Most of the key concepts, such as "working memory" and "spatial reasoning" are discussed within the context of cognitive psychology, and not cognitive neuroscience.

    Many of the studies/examples discussed at length are just not that mindblowing, and whatever 'profound' implications might exist are poorly summarized (AKA forgetting to deliver the punchline). This coupled with the painfully slow and patronizing tone of the narrator will afford you several occasions to wonder: "Why am I spending my time listening to this?"

    Worse, the author spends a great deal of time in the middle of the book tending to what seems to be a personal agenda non-relevant to the thesis that attempts to account for gender differences in mathematical ability and spatial reasoning (unconvincingly, in my view).

    My recommendation would be "The Body has Mind of Its Own" by Sandra Blakeslee - if you are looking for a nice balance of 'lay' neuroscience and research/real-world examples. If you are looking for something more rigorous, try "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins, and if you want something very rigorous, try "Rhythms of the Brain" by Gyorgy Buzsaki (not on audiobook).

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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