The Idiot’s Brain by Dean Burnett (151)

This a great read for anyone who is interested in neuroscience or how the brain works. Our brain is very complicated and it is very simplistic in places too. Dr. Dean Burnett dispels all the mysteries of the brain in this humorous yet serious book.

The brain is the seat of consciousness and the engine of all human experience. But it’s also messy, fallible, and disorganized. It’s undeniably impressive, but its far from perfect and these imperfections influence every thing that humans say and do as well as experience.

In this book, Dr. Burnett celebrates the downright laugh about things our minds do to us. He also exposes the fact that people are often way off in their thinking about how their brains work.

I learned a lot in this book that I didn’t know, such as:

  1. That my memory is egoistical;
  2. Stress can actually increase my performance on a task that I am working on;
  3. Conspiracy theories and superstitions stem from our brain’s insistence that the world isn’t random;
  4. The brain’s limitations mean you really can’t miss something that right under your nose;
  5. The way the brain’s processing works means that time really does fly when you’re having fun;
  6. Alcohol can sometimes improve your memory.

At first, I took issue with each of these assertions, wondering if they are right. Most of them are really quite off for me and my experience–except the third one. I know nothing about conspiracy theories or entertain superstitutions.

This book is at once entertaining as it is unpredictable. He highlights the unexpected side of everyday life, highlighting where conventional thinking is wrong and how our brains trip us up at every turn.

I loved this book!  It made me think and reassess my assumptions. And I am still sitting on the fence with a few of Dr. Burnett’s assumptions.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

About irenesroth

I am a freelance and academic writer. I am currently writing a book called `Fearless Freelance Writers`. Please look out for it soon on this blog.
This entry was posted in A scholarly book, Academic book, Brain and Consciousness, Culture in Canada, Educational book, Nonfiction, Publisher that has distribution in Canada. Bookmark the permalink.

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