Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain
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Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  488 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The brain is a fearsomely complex information-processing environment--one that often eludes our ability to understand it. At any given time, the brain is collecting, filtering, and analyzing information and, in response, performing countless intricate processes, some of which are automatic, some voluntary, some conscious, and some unconscious.

Cognitive neuroscience is one...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published November 29th 2004 by O'Reilly Media (first published November 22nd 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,722)
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Mohamed Abd El-Khalek
The book has 100 serious articles - I wouldn't call them "hacks" but it's close enough - about various ways the mind works. Since this is an O'Reilly Hacks title, the text occasionally taps into the vocabulary familiar to computer geeks (like myself) - "Hack #33: Neural noise isn't a bug, it's a feature" - but not always. This book could just as easily find it's way on the Psychology shelf.

Each article also has a list of End Notes that give you further reading on each topic, which was really nic...more
Tim Williams
First, where I come from we separate data from information. The first is just points without context, the second is useful and actionaable. I found most of the book to be more resembling data than information. Second, I wasn't finding anything new among the topics addressed. They are topics I am very interested in so adding nothing new or interesting to the discussion is a letdown. Maybe if I had read this book closer to when it came out that would not have been the case. Last, I REALLY don't li...more
Dylan
This book has a lot of very cool and interesting tips and facts about our brain capabilities! For example people live 80 milliseconds in the past because of the amount of time it takes to process things. Also when people read they only read the first and last lteters of a word, did you notice that I spelled letters wrong?
Ian Lindstrom
Like one of those camping or survival books, but for your mind. It has lots of great info on different techniques, habits, and resources that help you to live a more effective life. Everything from making tough decisions, managing emotions, concentration, mental math, social situations, health, etc. This is not one of those hokey think-it-and-you-will-have-it books (ahem, The Secret), nor is it motivational. It focuses on the science behind our habits, how they work and how you can change them....more
Ilya
The publisher that brought out Excel Hacks and Linux Desktop Hacks made a foray into popular neurobiology and cognitive science. Humans find it a breeze to recognize faces, sometimes even seeing faces where there are none - a man's face in a Martian mountain, the devil's face in the smoke of collapsing WTC towers, Jesus' face on a burnt toast. There seems to be a brain region dedicated to this, though when brains of experts on cars and birds are imaged, this region lights up when they look at th...more
Adam
This is the book that basically convinced me I wanted to become a neuroscientist. Not so much the actual content of the book, which is interesting, but not mind blowing; but the realization that of all books I had heard about recently, this was the one that I really wanted.

The fact that it is an O'Reilly book, written in the familiar computer hacks style, only sealed the deal. The perfect mashup for my interests.

As per the content, if you are completely new to psychology/neuroscience there are s...more
Ravi
If you want to understand, Why a lot of times you do something without realizing why you did it, How mind works around the physical limitations of our other organs making us see or feel things which are not there or vice versa, this is a must read.
Nick Hylands-white
Not bad. Interesting pieces of psychological research that you can try out on yourself and experience fist hand. This book served as a bit of a reminder that some areas of psychology are actually real and not just a load of conjecture over the best way to skin a cat (and what the skin can tell us about how happy the cat was etc etc). Probably best dipped into than read cover to cover.
matt sakaguchi
i like knowing why optical illusions work, how the brain functions, and why certain sensory stimuli can trip us up. this book has over 100 examples, plus exercises, exploring how and mind your brain works the way it does. it's a great book to have and pick up whenever you have a few minutes, since all of the "hacks" are discrete.
lola
I guess I thought this would be more practical? You know, something like Tips & Tools for Using Your Brain. But it was more just a re-hashing of a lot of recent neuro/cognitive scientific studies, which I guess would be interesting for some people. Some people who aren't me or my friends.
Angela
This book was pretty good, but I think I was expecting a little more out of it - I've taken a lot of psychology classes, and this kind of covers a lot of what is covered in beginner psychology classes, unfortunately, but otherwise, it is laid out well and is a good read
Beckyj
Tons of cool, "gee whiz" facts about how the brain works. Well written for the lay-audience. I don't really recommend it for reading straight through (even the authors don't expect you to) but it's fun to flip through and read about whatever strikes your fancy.
Eric
It was fun to learn to count binary with my hands. The thing with books like these is that I don't need everything all the time and when I might need it I won't know what I'm looking for so I give it 3 stars. It doesn't translate to a solid skill set.
Hans Gerwitz
Decent introductory content, but the Hacks format is awkward and contrived. It shows, and I found myself feeling bad for the authors and worse for myself wading through page after page for the small snippets of knowledge scattered within.
Wilte
Doesn't really work as a book to be read in a linear fashion. It is a collection of 100 very well written and funny blog posts with lots of links on how the brain works.

All links: http://mindhacks.com/book/links/
Ninja Pigeon


If you have ever had one of those days where you came up with a great retort 5 minutes after an embarrassing moment, and couldn't figure out why it took you that long, this book is for you.
Science For The People
Featured on Skeptically Speaking show #101 on march 4, 2011, during an interview with co-author Tom Stafford. http://skepticallyspeaking.ca/episode...
Xenophon Hendrix
Persons who have already read a lot about psychology probably won't find much new here. It might be pretty good for persons just getting into the subject.
Agnes Wieninger
Misleading title, but a great read for the curious nonetheless. How does our mind work? And how can we observe its mechanisms? Fascinating.
Rose
interesting, the format didn't really work for me, made it a bit repetitious and most of it I had already read elsewhere.
John
Mar 09, 2010 John marked it as wont-finish
maybe i will finish it later, but right now there is just too much stuff i have to read that is actually relevant to my life.
Lara
This book is incredible. Have never forgotten the segment on blinking, giving the brain a rest, allowing mind to reset/relax.
Jeremy
Nov 28, 2008 Jeremy marked it as to-read
Shelves: wish-list
I read the mindhacks.com blog regularly and I think it's time I checkout the book.
Doug
I learned many things about how my head works (or doesn't work sometimes).
Whitney
One of my favorite books ever. How your mind works- how to use it better.
Carol
Dec 28, 2008 Carol marked it as to-read
Just got this one in from my Half.com wish list. Looks fun!
Jonathan El-Bizri
Disappointing. Didn't learn any mind hacks, tips OR tools.
Nitin Patel
Very good, some interesting tips and tricks
Luke Faraone
Highly entertaining and insightful.
Miro Nguyen
boring, didn't learn anything
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Tom Stafford is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sheffield.
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