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Editorial Reviews

Award-winning voice actor Kate Reading delivers a compelling performance of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps Help You Do (Almost) Anything Better by scientists Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee. Her gentle, sonorous voice makes this complex research on the science of body maps seem simple and accessible. This audiobook explains how the brain interacts with the body. An understanding of body maps can be applied to weight loss, sport, or recovery from physical illnesses. It also unlocks new insight into human emotions.

Publisher's Summary

Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? Why do you duck your head when you drive into an underground parking garage? Why are your kids so enthralled by video games?

The answers to these questions can be found in a new understanding of how your brain interacts with your body, the space around your body, and the social world. Every point on your body, each internal organ, and every point in space out to the end of your fingertips is mapped inside your brain. Your ability to sense, move, and act in the physical world arises from a rich network of flexible body maps distributed throughout your brain.

The science of body maps has far-reaching applications. It can help people lose weight, improve their ability to play a sport, or assist recovery from stroke. It points the way to new treatments for anorexia and phantom limbs. It helps explain out-of-body experiences, auras, placebos, and healing touch. It provides a new way to understand human emotions from love to hate, lust to disgust, pride to humiliation.

With scientific discoveries from every corner of the globe, Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee have written a compelling narrative that is positively mind-bending and that will appeal to readers of Sharon Begley's Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.

©2007 Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Engaging without being simplistic, this is the only title devoted to body mapping for a nonspecialist audience (other books touch on the topic in their discussions of broader subjects)." (Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Michael
  • NAPERVILLE, IL, United States
  • 10-18-07

This explains alot

It was an interesting book and while I did find it interesting as I listened to it, there were only a couple of things that really stood out in terms of recall. As the title says, it’s about how your brain maps your body and brain flexibility.

What I recall most is a condition called the “yips” and that reflexology seems to provide a truly effective connection to the brain.

Yips is a movement disorder that is associated with sports activities such as putting in golf. I think of it as carpal tunnel of the brain—whereby long-time commonly repeated activities become nearly impossible to do properly due to things such as twitches and loss of timing.

I have played (still do) softball for years and have always made my throws from shortstop to first base accurately. Then about 2 years ago, I lost it. My throws during warm-ups are fine but put me in a game situation, I have the hardest time getting an accurate throw no matter how much time I take to throw it. So, I tried explaining to my teammates that I have the yips, and well, you can imagine what they thought of my self-diagnosis.

Reflexology, such as walking on smooth stones or putting a vibrating insole in your shoes does seem to somehow help the brain remap itself and help cure the yips. I have yet to try that in my case but it seems to help golfers when they experience this condition.

If you are interested in brain science, this book is worth the read.

29 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sheela
  • Encinitas, CA, United States
  • 07-28-11

Deepens the wonder of being human

This book takes some concentrated listening, and when driving or walking, I often had to go back to hear something I'd missed, again. Might be better to listen to while on a treadmill, or doing nothing. It helped me understand how, right now, as I'm typing, a million unconscious, deeply neurologically burned-in propensities and abilities are allowing the tiny little bit of consciousness I call 'me' to write. It's a study of very intriguing scientific discoveries and observations which lead to equally interesting self-reflection.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Was looking for this book for few years!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it's interesting to all. Has extraordinary stories about medical and mental illnesses, and it explains how the mind-body mapping causing those disorders. It covers the basic facts about how our brains interact with the world through our bodies. It's a must read for anyone interested in understanding the secrets behind the effectiveness of meditation, yoga, healing by touch, IBS...etc.

What did you like best about this story?

The explanation. I've look for other books in the same subject for few years, until this day I only found this one! The provided stories are definitely interesting and a lot of disorders finally are explained.

Have you listened to any of Kate Reading’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

A bit fast-paced at the start for me because I'm not an English native speaker. But she is the best performer I have listen to so far.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me intrigued.

Any additional comments?

If you are a thinker, scientist, philosopher or psychiatrist; it's a book worth reading. We can finally understand our own illusions and selves in a scientific way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 11-07-11

if the Homunculus is news to you might be worth it

Well, the concept of body maps in the brain have been around for quite a while. If you are unaware of this aspect of neuroscience you will likely find this book quite interesting. If you are already familiar with the homunculus body map in the brain, you may find this book mostly a rehash. There are some interesting tidbits but not enough new information to be really interesting to me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful