Top Brain, Bottom Brain: Surprising Insights into How You Think
The science and history presented in the first portion of the book almost make it worth reading, regardless of the flaws in the rest.
First, the discussion of the functional division of the various major structures in the brain was well done. For example, there is a great little diagram on page 29 that quickly and clearly delineates what the four lobes of the brain do (somewhat like this, but the bo ...more
Stephen Pinker doesn't recommend the book itself. He commends Kosslyn as "one of the greats" of a certain recent time slice. I read this as Kosslyn amounting to a consistent selection to the second all-star team, maybe a first all-star once or twice, but lacking much hall of fame potential.
Daniel Gilbert uses the phrases "exciting new way" followed by "original, insightful and a sweet read to boot." The ideas presented here _are_ original ...more
– Steven Pinker, bestselling author of The Language Instinct.
"An exciting new way to think about our brains, and ourselves. Original, insightful, and a sweet read to boot."
-- Daniel Gilbert, author of the International bestseller Stumbling on Happiness.
"Kosslyn and Miller have written a lively, informative, and easily assimilated summary of several important principles of brain function for th ...more
It was nice that they steered away form the left brain right brain conversation, and mentioned systemic brain functioning. It did seem a little bit limited on how they view the brain functioning as a system.
The neuroscience behind this was either really weak or poorly explained. The authors proposed that they were sticking with the "grey matter" in reference to how the brain interacts, but totally m ...more
The book goes into plenty of detail, much backed by neurology, and with multiple anecdotal examples of how this plays out in real life. Unfortunately, the example ...more
Top Brain, Bottom Brain is an odd mix. It offers fresh perspective and illuminating insights about how we think. The paradigm it puts forward, if adopted, can be life-changing. I personally liked how it brought to attention blind spots in my own mode of thinking, resulting in an overall greater level of self-awareness . Yet despite all of this, Top Brain, Bottom Brain undeniably fails as a pop psychology book.
Top Brain, Bottom Brain's problems stem from a lack of concrete experiments and too...more
Top 10 -REALLY BAD- reasons I am reluctant to harsh this book.
10: I like the cover art/marketing. I was drawn in by the simple, clever cover art and promising sounding publishers blurb.
9: It was expensive. I paid full price. This triggered a bit of cognitive dissonance (in this case, the need to rationaliz ...more
However, I think the theory behind the book is much weaker than it could have been. It is an oversimplified approach based on a dichotomy betwee ...more
Where the book is weaker is in the theory, i ...more
This is clearly a pop-science book, meant for an uninitiated audience. Clearly they want to ride the neurohype to sell a few books. What the authors don't seem to grasp is that their typical ne ...more
Take that as you will.