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

A User's Guide to the Brain by John J. Ratey
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's review
Jan 05, 2008

liked it
Recommended to Chaz by: a professor
Recommended for: those looking 4 an intro to neuro-science
Read in December, 2007

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.


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