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John Ratey, bestselling author and clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, here lucidly explains the human brain’s workings, and paves the way for a better understanding of how the brain affects who we are. Ratey provides insight into the basic structure and chemistry of the brain, and demonstrates how its systems shape our perceptions, emotions, and beJohn Ratey, bestselling author and clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, here lucidly explains the human brain’s workings, and paves the way for a better understanding of how the brain affects who we are. Ratey provides insight into the basic structure and chemistry of the brain, and demonstrates how its systems shape our perceptions, emotions, and behavior. By giving us a greater understanding of how the brain responds to the guidance of its user, he provides us with knowledge that can enable us to improve our lives.In A User’s Guide to the Brain, Ratey clearly and succinctly surveys what scientists now know about the brain and how we use it. He looks at the brain as a malleable organ capable of improvement and change, like any muscle, and examines the way specific motor functions might be applied to overcome neural disorders ranging from everyday shyness to autism. Drawing on examples from his practice and from everyday life, Ratey illustrates that the most important lesson we can learn about our brains is how to use them to their maximum potential....

Title : A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375701078
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain Reviews

  • Mohsen Rajabi
    2019-04-26 22:24

    در روزگاری که هرکس حقیقتی را برمی‌گزیند و هرکس روشی برای رسیدن به آن می‌دهد، شاید شناخت واقعی مسائل و شناخت درستی یا نادرستی مسائل فکری و فلسفی کار آسانی نباشد. اما نکته‌ای که جالب است و تقریبا هر دیدگاه و مکتبی به آن معتقد است، ضرورت شناخت خودمان است. در این میان بی‌راه نیست که بگوییم از هرمنظری که نگاه کنیم شناخت مغز و کارکردهای آن شاید ضروری‌ترین جنبه‌ی خودشناسی باشد، چون وجود و هویت انسانی خودمان را مدیون این عضو حیاتی و بی‌نظیر خود هستیم.مغز مهم‌ترین و پیچیده‌ترین عضو بدن است. بسیار پیچیده‌تر از سایر اندام‌ها. بدون شک رهبر و رئیس وجود جسمانی و غیرجسمانی ماست و همه چیز، از هویت و شناخت و آگاهی تا احساسات و عواطف ما تحت کنترل و اختیار مغز ماست. اصلا ادعای نابه‌جایی نیست اگر بگوییم مغز پیچیده‌ترین وجودی است که جهان به خود دیده است. کامپیوترها و سازه‌های انسانی هیچ‌گاه به پای مغز نمی‌رسند و حتا کیهان و شگفتی‌هایش نیز در مقابل مغز پیچیده‌ی انسان‌ها قابل فهم به نظر می‌رسند.شناخت علمی مغز از قرن نوزدهم آغاز شده و در تمامی این سال‌ها متخصصین زیادی سعی در شناخت آن داشته‌اند. دانش شناخت مغز، دوره‌های مختلفی را به خود دیده است. از زمانی که چون ماشینی دقیق درنظر می‌گرفتندش تا زمانی که فروید و پیروان مکتبش گزاره‌هایی همچون ابرمن و من را وارد این حوزه کردند و در سال‌های جدیدتر که علم اعصاب و شناخت نورون‌ها پیشرفت‌هایی زیادی در این زمینه به دنبال آورده است. بنابراین برای یک خواننده‌ی ساده که هنوز با اصطلاحات تخصصی آشنایی ندارد، شاید دنبال‌کردن این مباحث کمی سخت باشد.کتاب راهنمای کاربران مغز، در این زمینه شاهکار عمل کرده است. فصل‌بندی‌های خوب و موضوعات کاربردی و ضروری که در کتاب مطرح می‌شود، همه جذاب هستند. با خواندن این کتاب، تقریبا با چهارصحنه‌ی اساسی‌ای که ما به عنوان انسان با آنها درگیر هستیم و مغزمان عامل اصلی آنهاست، آشنا می‌شوید. این چهارصحنه چنانچه در این کتاب آمده‌اند عبارت‌اند از: ادراک، آگاهی، کارکردهای مغزی (مانند حافظه و عاطفه) و در نهایت شخصیت و رفتار. شناخت هریک از آنها و دانستن چگونگی عملکردشان حتا به صورت جزئی و ابتدایی می‌تواند تأثیر زیادی در شناخت ما از خود و ساختن زندگی بهتری برای خودمان و دیگران داشته باشد.در تمامی صفحات و فصل‌های این کتاب ۵۰۰ صفحه‌ای، حرف‌های خوب و جذابی گفته می‌شود، اما به نظرم مهمترین حرف این کتاب آنجاست که می‌گوید مغز مانند یک دستگاه و یک ماشین نیست که از پیش بدانیم چگونه عمل می‌کند. به‌علاوه روان و شخصیت ما نیز ریشه‌هایش به صحنه‌های اولیه‌ی مغز بازمی‌گردند و یک رفتار ممکن است نه نشان‌دهنده‌ی شخصیت ما، بلکه نشان‌دهنده‌ی مشکل و یا بیماری‌ای باشد که در مغز ما وجود دارد. در واقع بهترین تعریف این است که بگوییم مغز مانند یک زیست‌بوم است. همان‌طور که حتا کوچکترین چیزها نیز اهمیت دارند و باعث تغییر زیست‌بوم می‌شوند، برای مغز نیز کوچکترین رفتارها می‌توانند بااهمیت باشند و هر جزئی در رابطه‌ای پیچیده با جزئی دیگر قرار می‌گیرد و ضروری است که مانند یک محیط زنده به مغز نگاه کنیم نه صرفا مانند یک ماشین و دستگاه.مطمئنا خواندن این کتاب دریچه‌ی جدیدی است به نحوه‌ی تفکرمان نسبت به خودمان، و در کل نسبت به موجودی به نام انسان.در مورد ترجمه نیز به نظرم خوب است بگویم که فقط با خواندن متن انگلیسی کتاب است که متوجه می‌شوید مترجم با چه کتاب و با چه لحن پیچیده و نسبتا دشواری روبه‌رو بوده است و می‌شود گفت که قابل قبول عمل کرده است، به خصوص که موضوع اصلی کتاب نیز یکی از موضوعات تخصصی علم پزشکی است. با اینحال قبول دارم که ترجمه‌ی کتاب تاحدودی سخت‌خوان و غیرروان است، اما اگر کمی به شیوه‌ی ترجمه و علائم نگارشی (به خصوص ویرگول که بسیار پرکاربرد است) توجه کنید، حتما لذت بیشتری از خواندن این کتاب می‌برید.

  • Lisa Duffy-Korpics
    2019-05-01 04:28

    An amazing book that explains all the aspects of the brain in an intelligent, yet accessible way that is easily understood by the regular person. No need to have a Neuroscience degree to grasp this book - however it never talks down to the reader. Written by John J. Ratey, M.D., a clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, this book touches on memory, language, movement, emotion and social ability and how our brain is "plastic" or changeable througout our lives. A study involving a group of Nuns who lived on average, to be 100 years old and over, showed how this group had a much lower rate of Alzheimer's Disease and/or dementia associated with again, then the general population. The major difference? - learning. Constant learning throughout your life. Not only can an old dog learn new tricks - those new tricks can be the key to longer, more productive lives and a healthier brain. While practice may make perfect, it's new tasks that require us to master skills that we've never used before, that keep a brain growing and making new neural connections. A fascinating read - I highly recommend it.

  • Sarah Milne
    2019-05-03 20:24

    This is the single best "pop-neuro" book I have read. It is a fascinating look at the four theaters of the brain that ultimately makes the point that biology is at the root of mental disorders, and while that does not excuse behavior, it is extremely liberating. A couple quotes:“Despite all this activity going on in the brain, the treatment of mental disorders—extreme and mild—has centered upon the lone issue of “affect”: a person’s emotional state. Since the earliest days of psychiatry, every diagnostician has inevitably asked some version of the question “How do you feel?” Feelings are what hurt the patient, and the therapist is drawn to them, wanting to fix the hurt. But feelings are not the cause of the problems but the result, the outcome of an enormous amount of brain activity, including perception, attention, consciousness, and the brain functions.” (336-337)“Problems in the fourth theater are the ones most readily apparent to ourselves and others, so not only are they the ones most likely to motivate people to seek treatment, they are often the sole focus of investigation and treatment. Many clinicians never even look at or through the other theaters of the brain. Personality is not a cause of problems; it is rather the expression of good and bad influences from the earlier theaters.” (346)“When assessing a human being, almost everything merits examination.” (354)“It will be the clinician’s duty in the new century to help and to teach patients to explore whatever modifications of neurochemical, behavioral, psychological, and environmental factors might compensate for an illness.” (354)“Discovering creativity in one’s self can be a highly effective component of treatment. By thinking solely in terms of pathology, as if our Hippocratic duty required only that we restore the patient to some former, imagined state of perfect health, we faith to notice traits that provide not only a path to recovery but a means to progress beyond it. The brain’s processes can be utterly transformed by self-discovery and the right pursuits in life.” (354-355)

  • Laura
    2019-05-13 00:59

    A very well structured and precise introduction to Neuroscience/Neuropsychology.I have been reading similar books, this one in particular was recommended from my Neuropsychology's professor, and though I didn't learn anything new, I quite enjoyed the way it was structured, every chapter covers a cognitive process or a psychological topic like development.Therefore, if you are struggling with neuroscience or want to learn about it in a cool and easy way, this is a very good option, it covers a lot of topics (most of them are cognitive) and gives a good insight about the brain without going too deep about it. It's great for psychology students.

  • Allison
    2019-05-07 22:12

    The idea for this book was excellent: take all of the intricate, ground-breaking information in neuroscience and psychology, simpify it as much as possible to educate every-day readers, and add a "how to" component to show the information's practicality, importance, and usefulness. Coming from an author and clinician as well established as John Ratey (he works at Harvard), I expected nothing less than an intelligent, compelling book.A User's Guide reads like a condensed version of my freshman year cousework in Brain & Cognitive Sciences. Ratey provides explanations of each basic neuroscience concept (e.g. synapses, "use it or lose it," plasticity, etc.) as he goes through his material, all of which are essential to understanding and being convinced of his argument that we can change the neuroanatomy and therefore functionality of our own brains. However, Ratey may as well have physically taken his book and bashed his readers over the head with it repeatedly, because that is what he does with every point he makes. Instead of providing one paragraph of neuroscience explanation and then a follow-up paragraph or two about how this anatomy or functionality works in practical terms and/or how it can be manipulated by a "user," he spends pages going over and over each concept in every synonamous way he can conceive. By the end of the first chapter, I was less convinced of his argument that people can change their own brains by "thinking right" and more convinced that he was trying to create a memorization aid for neuroscience students.Ultimately, I got so fed up with the repetition that I quit the book. (A reader can only skip so many paragraphs, after all, before deciding to "skip" the remainder of the book.) I am sure there are other books out there on this same topic that are more entertaining and less tiresome. Ratey seems like he knows his stuff, and--as I am already familiar with the material--he seems to explain it well. However, as good as his explanations might be, there IS something to be said for too much of a good thing. And A User's Guide was definitely too much.

  • Lauren
    2019-05-11 04:26

    I picked up A User's Guide to the Brain from a library booksale. As someone with brain problems of some variety, I've developed a strong interest in finding out how brains actually work.Ratey does a good job of balancing actual science with writing that is easily understandable. I appreciated his non-judgemental and hopeful tone, and I found some of his insights really useful, especially regarding the importance of motor centres in the brain and the connection between movement and thinking, the role of emotions in decision making, and the plasticity of the brain. I finished this book feeling like I understood more about myself, others, and will be able to use some of these insights to fine-tune routines in my life to help out my brain.My dissatisfactions with the book are mainly these: after a throwaway comment that no one is born gay, Ratey never speaks of homosexuality again. This book was written in 2002, but it's still annoying, especially to myself as a lesbian. And a quick google search does show there has been evidence for homosexuality showing up in different ways in the brain.Ratey also doesn't mention the impacts of gender socialization on the brain at all. Basically, if you read this book you also definitely need to read Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference!

  • Amari
    2019-05-14 01:28

    Very engaging at times, though I felt it dragged a bit in the middle. Well-written, but still falls easily within the category of shoulda-had-me-proofread-it. Much fascinating information. Easy to appreciate, this relatively non-technical yet non-dumbed-down little introduction to the physiology of our noggins and, of course, selves.Several tidbits that will stay with me:If you've just learned some new vocabulary words or are trying to integrate information, you have to get some REM sleep in order to trluy learn the new material.Language development can be conceived as a simple result of humans' unique ability to create and understand symbols.Ratey writes beautifully about infants' innate ability to understand beings as discrete entities with different information and the ability to deliberately share it.I like Ratey's positive spin, which persists throughout, on our potential to rewire our brains and change ourselves throughout life. I believe him, somehow, probably as much because he writes as though convinced as for the facts he uses to support this argument.I like the way this book has taught me to think more analytically about why I react to certain events as I do (why did I scream when I saw a mouse? why exactly do I have trouble with word recall when I am suffering from insomnia? how does my left-handedness define me?)

  • Tom S
    2019-05-08 21:17

    As someone with no prior background or experience in neuroscience or psychology I found this book a fascinating insight into the complexities of the brain.The author initially sets out his goal of providing an accessible read to all by eschewing complex medical terms for easy to understand concepts through metaphors. These certainly provide a fantastic level of accessibility but at the expense of a certain level of repetition.I think the intended target of this book is freshman undertaking studies in neuroscience, demonstrated by the significant amount of references to studies, papers and research.This book provided me with enough information to grasp a solid understanding of the fundamentals of neuroscience whilst giving me ideas of where I can direct my efforts for further reading and study on related topics, some of which I intend to explore further.For me, this book loses one star due to being overly dry in parts and having a significant lack of flow or rhythm; I would attribute this equally between the subject matter and the linguistic capabilities of the author who was acutely focused on a highly factual narrative.

  • Stacie
    2019-05-22 04:20

    "A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain" by John J. Ratey, "lucidly explains the human brain’s workings, and paves the way for a better understanding of how the brain affects who we are. Ratey provides insight into the basic structure and chemistry of the brain, and demonstrates how its systems shape our perceptions, emotions, and behavior. By giving us a greater understanding of how the brain responds to the guidance of its user, he provides us with knowledge that can enable us to improve our lives." I loved this book, probably because I'm very interested in psychology and I love learning about the human brain. It was easy to understand what I was reading, and I loved how the author used real life examples and then describe what was going on and how they figured out what the problem was. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about the way we think and how we can improve our lives by having this knowledge and understanding.

  • Heather Wright
    2019-05-04 02:11

    This was a fascinating read. I learned so much about how the brain works, how easy it is to train (when you know what you're doing), and how one small thing in one small piece of it can affect everything else and have huge consequences. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a brain of their own and most especially anyone who is or knows someone who is ADHD, has dealt with any mental illness, or in any way falls on the spectrum of "different" based on their mental capacities or tendencies. It's written in a very easy to understand way that lets a lay person (even a not terribly science inclined one) easily understand all the concepts being discussed. You'll be amazed by your own potential by the time you get to the end of this book.

  • Ehsan Doostmohammadi
    2019-05-18 20:01

    متنی ساده و روان جهت شناساندن مهم‌ترین عضو شناختی بدن، مغز، به کاربران آن! هرآن‌کس که می‌خواهد از مغزش به هر نحوی استفاده‌ی بهتری داشته باشد بایسته است که این کتاب را بخواند. البته ترجمه اندک اشکالاتی دارد که قابل چشم‌پوشی است، خصوصا آن‌که کل متن انگلیسی کتاب در پانویس آمده است (شوخی!)

  • Mikee
    2019-05-13 01:15

    "The idle mind is the devil's plaything"

  • Matthew
    2019-05-16 20:10

    Honestly, most people would expect this to "just be another boring science book" but I in fact quite enjoyed it. Not only does it give factual info in a fun way but it also includes actual stories about what the chapters are about, not just cold hard facts. would I recommend this book to others? Definitely! Its a great book and interesting to boot.

  • Jill
    2019-05-08 20:22

    I loved so many things I learned from this book. I wasn't half-way through it, before I started to feel really bad about my lack of patience for people who very likley suffer from maladies caused by problems with their brain. What I really love about Ratey's writing, is that though he explains the physiological aspect of things, he doesn't stand on the premise that people can't help their behavior. I added to my favorite quotes this passage:"The point to remember is that the issue is not nature versus nurture. It is the balance between nature and nurture. Genes do not make a man gay, or violent, or fat, or a leader. Genes merely make proteins. The chemical effect of these proteins may make the man's brain and body more receptive to certain environmental influences. But the extent of those influences will have as much to do with the outcome as the genes themselves. Furthermore, we humans are not prisoners of our genes or our environment. We have free will. Genes are overruled every time an angry man restrains his temper, a fat man diets, and an alocholic refuses to take a drink. On the other hand, the environment is overruled every time a genetic effect wins out, as when Lou Gehrig's athletic ability was overruled by his ALS. Genes and the environment work together to shape our brains, and we can manage them both if we want to. It may be harder for people with certain genes or surroundings, but "harder" is a long way from pedetermination."Ratey recounts several stories of patients who spent their life treated like they were dumb, afraid, slow, and or nervous...only to discover they had blurry vision for things that moved (so reading or catching a ball was extremely difficult), or lacked the capacity to envision long-term results. Some were tragic stories, some amazing. This book really opened my eyes to a lot of possible physiological reasons people might behave the way they do, which helped me get a grasp on why it is that I need to be a lot easier on people than I tend to be. It also gave me a great deal of education on matters of things to watch for that might indicate someone may have one of these issues.I've never read a book about neurology before, and this one was particularly fascinating. At the end there was a list of suggested reading, and I will be adding some of these books to my "to-read" shelf.

  • Chaz
    2019-05-11 00:02

    Ratey was a required reading for HUMAN BEHAVIOR 836, I enjoyed reading it much more than I originally would have thought. His cadence and scientific insight makes this introduction to neuroscience a thought-provoking read. He divides his writing by our brain's capacities and 'powers' and adapts them to the current theories in the field of psychiatry. What makes this book readable is his ability to weave in personal experience as a clinician. He provides many examples on how the brain can overreact, compensate for trauma, develop deficits and explain the exciting possibilities of plasticity. There are some really peculiar examples of instances when the brain has cross sensory adaptations and deficits. One example which I found fascinating was when one individual who was 'technically' blind could identify any object in front of her. Her eyes were normally functioning but some region of the brain was malfunctioning and she could not process information coming from the optic nerve. So her brain could process visual stimulus and not actually see. I'm still slightly confused. Mind-boggling nonetheless! Ratey uses this and many more examples of strange brain malfunctions to show our current understanding of perception and attention. Some great examples about Asperger's syndrome and other developmental disabilities --I wouldn't pick it u p 4fun but it was worth reading for any class.

  • Doris
    2019-05-20 22:14

    This really was a fascinating book, and I learned a lot. However, it took me a long time to get through the middle of this book. The vocabulary (even though it's "dumbed down") made my head reel a bit. There were good diagrams scattered throughout that were references for the different parts of the brain he happened to be discussing at the time, but they weren't very useful to me. If I could have had a diagaram of the brain light up each time he talked about a specific area, I think I would have been able to process things a lot better (though I realize that's not quite realistic).The good part: this book really opened my eyes to difficulties others may have and how little their fault it may be. Though the author repeatedly emphasizes that you can't blame poor choices on biology, he also makes it clear that only once the root of the true problem is recognized can an individual who struggles with mental problems be fully equipped to tackle the problem. I feel I have a better understanding of a lot of mental conditions and feel better equipped myself to recognize them in others and how to be more empathetic and understanding of them. I also realized we likely all have some kind of break downs in our mental functions in one area or another; some are just easier to work around than others.

  • Rose
    2019-05-17 03:10

    This book provides a good overview of some of the current research on the brain. However, I was a little skeptical about some of Ratey's claims. He stated a few times that a theory was "proven", but anyone who has studied science knows that researchers don't "prove" theories, they gather evidence to support them. The basis of the scientific method is that researchers attempt to disprove a hypothesis, and if they fail to do so, it becomes a theory. I suppose I'm just being picky about language, though, since this was meant to be for the laymen. Even so, some of Ratey's claims seem exaggerated and unsubstantiated. For example, Ratey claims that the average high school graduate knows 60,000+ words, when the true number is closer to 10,000 words. Ratey was probably siting a linguist who counted the same word several times because one word may have multiple definitions and may be used as multiple parts of speech. I wish the author would have been clearer about these nuances. That being said, I feel that was a good book overall. It's a great place to start for any dabbler interested in the fascinating workings of the brain.

  • Kirsten
    2019-05-18 23:11

    Scientists are constantly learning new insights about the brain and how it works, and this book is a good overview of our current understanding of the neurobiological workings of the brain. Ratey sheds a little light on what is going on chemically in the brain as we experience daily life, and also discusses the neurological processes linked to disorders like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. For me, one of the most interesting aspects was when he noted that Tourette's syndrome (which the popular mind tends to conceive as a neurological disorder) and Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (which tends to be classed as a psychological disorder) seem to be very closely related in terms of what's going on in the brain. It serves to show that one can't really draw a line between neurobiological and psychological disorders, and that there's really no such thing as a mental illness that's solely psychological. It may be all in your brain, but it's not all in the mind.

  • Broodingferret
    2019-05-02 21:04

    This was a remarkably accessible book given the complexity of the topic. Ratey has a knack for clarifying topics in neuroscience without dumbing them down, though having at least a passing familiarity with general brain structure and function would certainly ease a reader's comprehension of the book. Ratey also makes excellent points regarding the holistic nature of brain function, approaching topics like the senses and memory from angles that spark new perspectives within the reader's own brain. The breadth of the book is also general enough that it avoids being too dated, despite the fact that it was written in the early 2000s. This book is going to the top of my list for suggested reading in topics of neuroscience.

  • Sam Bennett
    2019-05-07 21:00

    Well written book about one of the main theories of brain disorders, how the brain functions at a chemical level, and ways the understanding of the biological basis for neural functioning provides a "scientific" basisfor avenues for the treatment of our dysfunctions. Esp. reinforced is the idea of how motion and proprioceptics work back and forth with thought to reinforce each other. Ultimately he scratches the surface of consciousness and the much more creative and holistic look at how we are conscious. A very good read. Simple, but not condescending. Informative without being like wading thru thickening cement. And for me, a fun read.

  • Jess
    2019-05-14 00:01

    I enjoyed how well the author articulated some of the shortcomings of the current method of diagnosis based solely on personality and behavior. The discussion on the four theaters of the brain and how they interact was very insightful. The author's philosophy of a more holistic approach to therapy is along the same lines that I have been thinking lately.Some of the discussion of the different brain systems were a little too detailed and difficult for me to focus on. However, the strength of this book lies in the relatable examples and the fascinating case studies.

  • Diana Polansky
    2019-05-01 00:25

    A great pre-date book or pre-dinner party book. Seriously. I'm not kidding.See what you can do with the following passage, among others:"...lust is associated primarily with estrogen and androgens. Attraction, however is associated with elation and a craveing for emotional union, which may be linked to the monoamines such as serotonin. The Neurotransmitters associated with long-term attachment--a behavior evidenced by close body contact, separation anxiety, and a sense of calm, security, and peace with a partner--have been harder to find (mostly oxytocin)..."

  • Patrick
    2019-04-28 21:06

    Had I not found the author's style so confusing, I would have given this 4 stars, not three. I think I owe it a re-read and am going to mark it as such. As a neophyte in this area, I would have done better with more in the way of straight-forward vocabulary and physiology and less in the way of cute anecdotes, most of which were interesting, but some of which verged on the six year old's shaggy dog story that has neither end nor beginning. Perhaps it will hold up better on re-read, we shall to see.

  • Beth
    2019-05-23 23:08

    This is one of the best books I've ever read on the human mind/brain. It is organized really well and easy to understand. I have used it for teaching related to dementia based on the idea that it is helpful to understand how a healthy brain works before understanding what can happen when disease sets in. Someone borrowed my copy and never returned it. Boo hoo! This is a good reminder to order it now while it's still fresh on my mind. Hey Goodreads is not only fun but useful.

  • Margaret
    2019-05-19 04:02

    Very interesting. This book is written clearly and has great, tangible examples to explain neurology to the reader. It talks about development, "the use it or lose it" theories and many fascinating details about how we can train our brain to focus, balance and learn to be able to learn more. I read this in bits and pieces over several months...tidbits here and there is a good way to absorb the book.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-19 03:16

    I found it difficult to read this book in the same way as I would any other book, that is from start to finish. It is quite technical and there is a lot of information in there to absorb, all of which is very informative and has made me understand the brain in much more detail that I did before, but hard going. I find it a great reference book to dip in and out of when I want to know more about a certain topic.

  • Burcu
    2019-04-27 02:23

    This is a good introduction to neuroscience for those outside the field. I particularly enjoyed reading it because it lacks the usual, yet unnecessary, popularising that most such books tend to have. However, beware this also makes the work harder to read than such popular books. Basically, it's an introduction at a scientific and intellectually challenging level, not the self-help summer read that some might be seeking.

  • Alex
    2019-05-17 03:26

    Oh wow. I didn't expect to like this one nearly as much as I did. One weekend trip and two plane rides later, I blinked and was over halfway done. That's how smoothly this flows. You have to have a knack for science or be some kind of nerd to enjoy it, and if you did any pscyhology in college then the first 100 pages involve a lot of primer and repetition, but it picks up after that.

  • wfj
    2019-05-05 22:16

    Helpful but ultimately disappointing as the graphics weren't good & the chapters didn't hang together all that well, sometimes felt like he was including articles that he'd read just to show he's read them. I did learn a lot: at my age, it's hard to retain the facts & they weren't presented in a memorable way.

  • Emily
    2019-05-27 02:29

    This book is a pretty good one if you want to get into neuroscience. My only problem was that Ratey kept using very annoying platitudes such as "Use it or lose it". He also tended to deviate from what he was talking about, and then suddenly get back to the point. Other than that, it is a very good book, and I learned many things I didn't know, as well as reviewing over things I already did.