Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To

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9780393354119: Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To

A delightful tour of our mysterious, mischievous gray matter from neuroscientist and massively popular Guardian blogger Dean Burnett.

It's happened to all of us at some point. You walk into the kitchen, or flip open your laptop, or stride confidently up to a lectern, filled with purpose―and suddenly haven't the foggiest idea what you’re doing. Welcome to your idiot brain.

Yes, it is an absolute marvel in some respects―the seat of our consciousness, the pinnacle (so far) of evolutionary progress, and the engine of all human experience―but your brain is also messy, fallible, and about 50,000 years out-of-date. We cling to superstitions, remember faces but not names, miss things sitting right in front of us, and lie awake at night while our brains replay our greatest fears on an endless loop.

Yet all of this, believe it or not, is the sign of a well-meaning brain doing its best to keep you alive and healthy. In Idiot Brain, neuroscientist 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. Expertly researched and entertainingly written, this book is for everyone who has wondered why their brain appears to be sabotaging their life, and what on earth it is really up to.

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About the Author:

Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist who lectures and tutors at the Centre for Medical Education at Cardiff University. He writes the Guardian’s popular science blog, Brain Flapping, and dabbles in stand-up comedy. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.

Review:

“Entertaining . . . offers illuminating discussions of the way the memory works, of fear and panic attacks, of our susceptibility to being conned or depressed, and of the marvels of the human senses.”
- Wall Street Journal

“We love a good brain book, and Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett might just be our new favorite.”
- Bookish

“I really admire Dean Burnett’s work. He’s very compelling and wise and rational. You know you can trust him and you know it’s going to be a great read.”
- Jon Ronson, best-selling author of So You've Been Publicly Shamed

“An entertaining romp through the science of our mental processes . . . fascinating.”
- Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene

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