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Idiot Brain

What Your Head Is Really up To
Narrated by: John Keating
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (191 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

It is rather fun to listen to

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Painful.

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.

24 people found this helpful

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Great Book--Poor Narration

I really love the content of the book. The narration is awful--the narrator is heard inhaling after every phrase or sentence.

3 people found this helpful

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Super fun and fascinating

Loved this. I'm in a job where listening to an audiobook during the day is an effective way for me to keep myself focused and get some work done. I wanted to listen to something I find fascinating, and the human brain is definitely one of those things. It only took me a few days to get through and I have already recommended it to several of my friends. I would listen to it several more times too.

Awesome listen! Plus I like the Irish accent. 🤗

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, tough accent

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.

1 person found this helpful

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Cute but unsatisfying

I have the hardback edition of the book as well. I think the book is very interesting but its not as entertaining as the title makes it seem. This book reminds me of when you were back in college and your professor tried making the material funny but constantly fell short of a laugh. I think it has decent material but it struggles to keep the reader interested. The material feel very basic and doesn't really expand on what we already know or have experienced in everyday life.

I guess what I was looking for was for this book to make me think versus make me understand.

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content yes/whoever read this-no

This book is worth reading, but I would strongly suggest finding the time to read it yourself, or finding a different reading of it as the reader is hard to listen to.

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Likes the content but not the narration

The content is very interesting and has good research behind. I didn't like the narration both because of the voice and the intention.

1 person found this helpful

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enjoyable and enlightening

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.

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One of my favorites

Entertaining and educational. Don't hesitate, buy it now! One of my all time favorite audio books.