A delightful tour of our mysterious, mischievous gray matter from neuroscientist and massively popular Guardian blogger Dean Burnett.
The brain may be the seat of consciousness and the engine of all human experience, but it's also messy, fallible, and disorganized. For example, did you know that your memory is egotistical? That conspiracy theories and superstitions are the inevitable effects of a healthy brain? Or that alcohol can actually improve your memory? (Editor's note: Please listen to the book before testing that last conclusion.)
In Idiot Brain, Dr. Dean Burnett celebrates blind spots, blackouts, insomnia, and all the other downright laughable things our minds do to us while also exposing the many mistakes we've made in our quest to understand how our brains actually work. This is the best kind of popular science - lucid, funny, and whip smart - from a debut author who will be tickling funny bones and firing neurons for a long time to come.
©2016 Dean Burnett (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
I was able to listen to the whole book in one day. It has a lot of layman' jargon, which makes it even more fun. There was tons of info and the subjects are not belabored which makes it interesting.
Expected cute or informative. As a neuosurgeon and with a PhD in neuroanatomy, just wanted to be entertained, or learn something novel. However, it's as if he got his information from People magazine. His understanding of pathways is often just plain wrong, and his clinical examples sometimes are unrelated to the pathway he's describing. Could only get through 2 chapters because it was making me upset. Don't let this be your only source for neural pathways.
I was fascinated by the inner chemical workings of the brain and how that relates to our perception of the real world. However I still don't understand our way of thinking and environment impacts the chemical "reality" of our brain or its the other way round.
This book is at a terrific level for either an early academic in the field of neuroscience, or an advanced layman in a field of biology. It serves as an overview of brain science that doesn't take itself too seriously. There are maybe a dozen paragraph throughout the book that are densely written, but most readers will be able to quickly identify them, And either ignore them or use them to find more specialized material. In some ways, the dense paragraphs are almost like the author is using hashtags to give people explicit connections to other works.
As far as the performance of the audiobook is concerned, I would recommend it for people whose hearing works best in the mid range of sound. I would not recommend it for people who struggle interpreting accents different from those on television. On more than one OK Asian, vocabulary terms were incorrectly pronounced-this could be a big deal for the advanced layman.
Mr. Burnett tells a complicated tale in understandable and amusing terms. I was already familiar with the bits and pieces of the nervous system but this work really helped put them together for me. I enjoyed Mr. Keating's narration - Scottish accent and English humor read like it should be.
The content is very interesting and has good research behind. I didn't like the narration both because of the voice and the intention.
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