A User's Guide to the Brain

Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain
Narrated by: Eric Martin
Length: 16 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John Ratey, best-selling author and clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, lucidly explains the human brain's workings, and paves the way for a better understanding of how the brain affects who we are.

Ratey provides insight into the basic structure and chemistry of the brain, and demonstrates how its systems shape our perceptions, emotions, and behavior. By giving us a greater understanding of how the brain responds to the guidance of its user, he provides us with knowledge that can enable us to improve our lives.

In A User's Guide to the Brain, Ratey clearly and succinctly surveys what scientists now know about the brain and how we use it. He looks at the brain as a malleable organ capable of improvement and change, like any muscle, and examines the way specific motor functions might be applied to overcome neural disorders ranging from everyday shyness to autism.

Drawing on examples from his practice and from everyday life, Ratey illustrates that the most important lesson we can learn about our brains is how to use them to their maximum potential.

©2001 John J. Ratey, MD (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A]n introduction to neuroscience which sticks to a man-on-the-street vocabulary." (The New Yorker)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very eloquent and thorough!

It covered everything throughout life experiences and personal patients. Language was perfect for non experts. Shared it with all my friends.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

fascinating

an excellent book. well researched, and gave me a lot of insight. Would definitely recommend

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book, mediocre narration

Love John Ratey, but the narrator sounds like Agent Smith from the Matrix. I usually don't complain about the reader but the monotone makes it hard to stay focused on the text even when it is covering something fun

Text is easy to follow for a lay audience. As a psychologist I would have preferred he get more technical but I know that does not sell books as well. If you are a clinician you'll find this a pleasant review and a nice book to recommend to your patients

4 people found this helpful

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Not just more of the same.

I was expecting a different take on information presented in other books of similar titles, but the scope of brain related issues and peculiarities which the author delves into managed to keep my attention glued to my headphones. A must listen for any curious intellectual.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very nice book with a lot of information

A wealth of information about the brain, psychology, psychiatry, and many other topics. Full of stories to illustrate the ideas presented. Although long and in some cases repetitive, highly recommend for those who want to learn about how their brain works and how to keep it in good health. The last two chapters in particular are wonderful and worth revisiting multiple times.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DD
  • 05-17-20

insightful concepts and understanding

This book had some very important information there was put together very well. I am Sommelier with many of these concepts and I still learned a lot.

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Gist of the human brain

It helps you understand how exactly your brain works. 6 months ago, I was experiencing depression and anxiety. For some reason, I never wanted to go to psychologist just for three or four sitting (coz I couldn’t afford to pay for more than that). Rather, I tried to study my emotions, because I thought I am the best person to have a judgment on my inner feelings as I lived with myself for 25 years. I got out of depression by working out everyday, learnt swimming (Learnt at the age of 25), sketching (I got to know I sketch really well), hiking, meditating and socializing on Saturday night 😉 I am glad and proud that I got myself out of it with my own help. After listening to this book, it totally makes sense why I got out of depression with nobody’s help.

Although he did not say not to use a psychologist, is it so evident that the brain is so complex, that you need someone who has a lot of patience to understand where the fault is. 3 of 4 sessions of therapy will not work.

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Informative.

Detailed look at the functions of the brain. Easy to follow. Should have left personal beliefs out of the last chapter.

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Brilliantly done!

Brilliantly book. Great cognitive psychology information and loaded with practical insights and real-world applications. 👍