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tinyfaery's avatar

Can you recommend a book about the brain?

Asked by tinyfaery (42695points) January 22nd, 2015 from iPhone

I miss nikipedia.

I’m looking for a book that explains how much the brain affects our choices, opinions, etc.

I’m college educated, but not in the sciences. I’m looking for a lay persons book. I’m ok with a little jargon.

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8 Answers

hominid's avatar

David McRaney’s You Are Not So Smart is great stuff. I highly recommend his podcast as well.

longgone's avatar

This one is great, but you’d have to speak German.

Buttonstc's avatar

Here’s an oldie but goodie.

“Drawing From the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards

dappled_leaves's avatar

On how the brain works:
Creating Mind by John E. Dowling

On the evolution of the human mind:
Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett

Interesting case studies, light reading:
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

About the ways we think, and how these help and hinder us in life:
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

It’s very hard to search specifically for books about how the brain affects our choices, because this is often the domain of self-help books, which I don’t trust. I think the Kahneman book might really interest you in this context; it’s not exactly what you’re asking for, but it might answer your questions.

Cruiser's avatar

I can’t recommend a book but I can recommend a video series that was very informative as to why I made the choice to drink alcohol. It goes into detail how and why the brain is wired to make the choices we make. A real eye opener. Watch all 10 videos and sit back and go wow!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’ve been reading Brain Rules: 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school by John Medina. I saw him interviewed on a morning news program. He was talking about the effect of exercise on brain function. I’ve not finished it yet but he discusses the effect of stress on the brain, the importance of exercise, the problem with mutitasking and memory (amongst other things). It’s very easy to read and you can get it in a Kindle edition pretty cheaply.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks all.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I’ll second @dappled_leaves’ recommendations, and add The Crucible of Consciousness by Zoltan Torey. It is less technical than my favourite, Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained, and differs on several key points, but it is an interesting perspective from an incredible person.

Just remember when you’re reading about the brain that everything is a lot less certain than it is made out to be in the popular literature. We’re talking about the single most complex structure known to man, and we really don’t understand it yet.

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