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Publisher's Summary

Much of the layperson's knowledge of the brain is predicated on a lack of understanding about this mysterious organ. To start building a more straightforward, accurate understanding of current breakthroughs in neuroscience, you have to start by shattering popular brain myths.

Each of these 24 lectures takes as its focus a single powerful, prevalent brain myth, and uses it as a launch pad from which to explore myriad topics in neuroscience: decision making, memory, dreams, emotions, neuroplasticity, consciousness, mental illness, and much more.

Our memory is an accurate, objective record of the past. Our senses reflect the world as it really exists. Our dreams have hidden meanings. We are only using 10% of our total brain power. Modern technology (including social media) is making us less intelligent. Dr. Viskontas doesn't just settle for obliterating these and other myths. Instead, she replaces them with scientific facts gathered from experiments, research, and case studies. The result is an eye-opening adventure into the latest understanding of why the brain works the way it does.

Whatever order you enjoy these lectures in, you'll be left with insights that will help you better determine the hard scientific truths behind the breaking news (and myths) of tomorrow.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Brain Myths Exploded

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Did not want this to have 3 stars

The app and website, for what ever reason makes this 3 stars no matter how many times I try to make it 1.

Thought it was interesting until the SJW chapter on unconscious bias.

Says the testing methodology produces non repeatable results, yet this is somehow indicative that the results support the conclusion.

The whole cops are shooting and killing unarmed people because they are unconsciously biased is a huge stretch.

According to Wikipedia the altercation ensued when the perpetrator attacked the officer in his police vehicle for control of his gun until it was fired. (Basically he punched the officer in the face multiple times and tried to take his gun.) The perp fled, officer pursued. The perp stopped and charged the officer after a short pursuit. The officer also told him to stop, multiple times. Oh and the guy was 6’5” and about 300 lbs.
The officer account is corroborated by multiple witnesses. But I’m supposed to believe this is because of unconscious bias because the officer? No, I don’t think so. That chapter had political bias all over it. Ruined the entire course for me.

91 people found this helpful

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Great lecturer, very enjoyable

Having read and studied a lot in this area, I did not expect to learn many new fact, or busting of old myths, but in fact I did. And the things I already knew were explained in such an interesting way that I still enjoyed and benefited, will help me to explain things in future. No vocal fry, great speaking voice as well.

151 people found this helpful

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Eye Opener

Every chapter was enlightening, informative, an eye-opener. It's the fastest I've finished an audiobook. And I think I wanna listen to it again. The narration was great too.

64 people found this helpful

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Well picked cherries from field of psychology

This series has little to do with 'myth busting' and more to do with a taste testing tour of many emerging and misunderstood areas in psychology. It's also less to about the brain and more about cognitive and behavioral psychology. Nevertheless, Indre does a brilliant job or surveying the literature and takes great care in refraining from pop psychology hyperbole and borrowing on the credibility of science to make her career. This book was not comprehensive on any topic but was masterfully succinct on many. I especially liked her tour of how technology impacts our attention and intelligence for good or bad. Other notable topics include our sleep and our ability to perform depending on it, how we use more than 10% of our brains, neuroplasticity, and cognitive biases. Overall, this series is a surprisingly pleasant treatise on psychology's latest findings that strays from its stated topic (brain myths) in a wonderful way.

89 people found this helpful

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Good for Neuro Beginners

This is a great introductory course to neuroscience. As an experienced learner of the subject, I did not find many new facts. If you are a novice and want a better description of how the brain works I would highly recommend

38 people found this helpful

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Replaces many books at once

This book spoiled some other books for me, which is a good thing. Having a deep understanding of your brain will help in many parts of your life. Many "tricks" I used became more useful, because I understood the reasoning better. The narrator is fun to listen to, and had fun narrating herself. Her enthusiasm was clearly audible.

35 people found this helpful

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Answered several most intriguing questions

The lecture discussed several interesting topics about our brain like are bigger brains smarter, do you only use 10% of your brain, can you multitask efficiently, can adult brains change for better, and does technology make you stupid?
The whole lecture provided rich and profound information about our brains yet remained so funny and catching! Indeed learnt a lot!

43 people found this helpful

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Excellent, wonderful insight into our mind working

Loved it. Helps us understand the way we think, believe and act. Hopefully I am all the better for it.

9 people found this helpful

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Just Didn't Find It Too Interesting

I thought this course had a lot of potential. Specifically lectures on sleep, dreaming, and consciousness intrigued me enough to purchase this course. But I could never really get into it. Simply stated I just didn't find it interesting enough.

Maybe I unfairly expected components that wouldn't be in scope like more philosophy of the mind or other theories around dreaming but this just seemed to be one long recitation of study after study and while some were eye opening and do bust some myths most of us carry, the sheer volume of tidbits from this study and that made it difficult to put all of this together. And to be honest I didn't even find the studies themselves very interesting.

The professor's presentation style wasn't bad but I didn't like some aspects of it: at times she seemed smug in what she was presenting, rarely offering differing views. Her attempts at humor also fell flat with me and were odd at times. Okay so she's probably a dog person and aren't too fond of cats but her disparaging jokes about cats seemed out fo place since she's probably irritating or isolating half of her audience! And sometimes the references to her husband and child seemed too much. While they can help illustrate points at time, I really didn't need to listen to her recorded reaction to the first time her child recognized his own name in which she screamed with joy. Nor did hearing her refer to him as meatloaf numerous times help my understanding of the topics at hand.

Sorry maybe I'm being trivial and overly cruel here but the upshot is all of this only contributed to a lack of connection on my behalf with the content/course and instead resulted in me feeling like this course was something to just endure (in case I was missing a really good lecture somewhere at the end) vs. one to really enjoy.

If you have a great interest in neuroscience then this course may intrigue you so take my review for what it's worth but I didn't going in and me thinking it just might turn my interest to the discipline...well that ended up being just a myth.

7 people found this helpful

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Connections

Outstanding delivery of the science of what is going on inside your head. This course made the connections between the biology and the behavior. Listen more than once. There's a lot of detail. I like how the information, which was technical in nature, was brought out in ways that made it possible for non scientists to easily understand.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Rodney Jones
  • 05-26-17

A Really Great Course!

I have taken very many Great Courses and, without doubt, this has been the best so far. It is both informative as well as accessible and the presentation was uniformly excellent. I can thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in keeping abreast of developments in neuro-psychology or just wants answers to many of the questions about our brain that we all often ask.

6 people found this helpful

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  • C Grenegres
  • 01-07-19

Rather poor. Not as described.

I was expecting something more representative of the description. It is instead an obvious diatribe on how the brain in all its complexity “evolved”. Very flimsy argumentation throughout even in this regard. The sheer number of incremental changes mentioned by the speaker in producing even the simplest brain is astronomical. Pseudoscience at best.

2 people found this helpful

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  • S Mich
  • 12-19-18

Bit simplistic

This is interesting in parts but of a much lower level academically than the other audiobooks in the great courses series that I’ve listened to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HotCupOfTeaPls
  • 03-08-21

Fascinating insight into neuroscience myths.

Thoroughly enjoyable presentation, and although it didn't answer all my questions it did cover some interesting claims, and helped me to re-think some assumptions I had.

Well presented, engaging style and very complimentary to other Great Courses neuroscience titles; I'd happily listen through it again.

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  • kasia
  • 11-28-18

Very interesting and well delivered.

Clear, interesting scientific look but also easy to understand and well delivered. I recommend this course.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Boyle
  • 10-19-18

Fascinating and enjoyable listen.

Really enjoyed the lecturer's style. Great content and really well delivered. Enjoyed thoroughly. Good level of technical content but style approachable for the lay person.

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  • Anjali
  • 09-23-18

loved it !!

Very informative and engaging. learned so much new about the brain that I never knew before.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S.L.
  • 09-14-18

fantastic wealth of knowledge

I absolutely loved this course. So informative and easy to follow. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to further their knowledge of Neuroscience

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • william cirillo
  • 09-11-18

excellent series

really well presented. great speaker, and fascinating subject
If you have any interest in the way our brain work and define us... this is a must

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sunlight2020
  • 08-30-18

thanks

Very good all around I am a so happy to listening to this book knowledge
thanks

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  • Gub Wonder
  • 04-18-21

Brainy lady is a good teacher.

I love this course. Very easy to listen to and understand. Presented by someone who is enthusiastic and passionate about brain function. I finally understand why I had brain function problems for years after a blow to my forehead. Blueberries, fish oil and turmeric was what I ate everyday and my memory improved. I only have trouble remembering names of people now. At one point, I couldn't even dress myself. I'd have a shower, but forget to rinse the soap out of my hair. I couldn't do buttons. I couldn't recognise words. I had no thoughts; it was an effort to think. My brain, however, healed itself. Through it all, I never lost my intelligence; I just couldn't express it. I could write fluently, but not speak sentences. I got stuck on every noun. I couldn't recognise faces or my own kid's names. It's now 5 years later, and I have mostly regained function. My personality changed permanently and for the better. I don't suffer fools anymore.