The Idiot Brain

Dean Burnett
Paperback
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Why do you lose arguments with people who know much less than you? Why can you recognise that woman, from that thing, but can't remember her name? And why, after your last break-up, did you find yourself in the foetal position on the sofa for days, moving only to wipe the snot and tears haphazardly from your face? This title answers these queries.
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Why do you lose arguments with people who know much less than you? Why can you recognise that woman, from that thing...but can't remember her name? And why, after your last break-up, did you find yourself in the foetal position on the sofa for days, moving only to wipe the snot and tears haphazardly from your face? Here's why: the idiot brain. For something supposedly so brilliant and evolutionarily advanced, the human brain is pretty messy, fallible and disorganised. For example, your memory is egotistical. No, really. Conspiracy theories and superstitions are the inevitable effects of a healthy brain. And alcohol can actually improve your memory. In The Idiot Brain, neuroscientist Dean Burnett tours our mysterious and mischievous grey (and white) matter. Along the way he explains the human brain's imperfections in all their glory and how these influence everything we say, do and experience. Expertly researched and entertainingly written, this book is for anyone who has wondered why their brain appears to be sabotaging their life, and what on earth it is really up to. Editor's note: please read the book before testing this conclusion.
 

Customer reviews

The Idiot Brain makes a complex subject much funnier.Review by PhotonQyv
Rating
When I picked up this book I wasn't sure quite what to expect, though I knew of the author from his Twitter presence. It turned out to be a great choice, as the book was a straightforward discussion of the brain and how it might work. The author's approach, filled both with humour and anecdote reminded me of Paul C.W. Davis, in how both writers are able to explain quite complex subjects while not being too condescending in their prose.

If you're looking for a summation of the current theories relating to how the brain works, and what that means for us in our daily lives then this is definitely the book to read. If you're looking for some definitive answers, then as the author states in his introduction, this isn't it. Don't let that stop you reading it however, as even if some, or all of the theories espoused turn out to be incorrect that is in the nature of science. (Posted on 19/09/2016)
A great, informative, accessible read.Review by Rob
Rating
Let me be clear. I'm no scientist. I don't get science. Never have. Until now. Dean Burnett's book is so rich in metaphor and simile that you feel you're in an (admittedly one sided) informative conversation with a witty and intelligent friend rather than reading what could be categorised as a text book. There's none of the drudgery associated with learning, just an eagerness to read on and pick up information on the way. This is because the way the book is presented is friendly, funny, accessible and very human. It's a great way to understand the workings of your own mind without having to undertake several years of study and it's a great way to have a laugh while you do so. I'll definitely be talking to people about this book and if Dr.Burnett decides to write another one I've no doubt that my own idiot brain will make the right decision and buy that too. (Posted on 08/03/2016)
A humorous book that can tell you why it's humorousReview by Dave
Rating
This is an excellent introduction to psychology and neuroscience which gets the subject across with wit and style. I'd recommend it to any student of the human mind. Which is all humans. Enjoy. (Posted on 27/02/2016)

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Additional Info

ISBN 9781783350810
Publisher Guardian Faber
Format Paperback
Publication date 18 Feb 2016

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