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The Brain: The Story of You

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  9,910 ratings  ·  1,004 reviews
Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to chang ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Pantheon
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Lindsay This is a very subjective question. Meaning it always depends on who you're asking. Because none of this has yet to be "proven" people will argue for …moreThis is a very subjective question. Meaning it always depends on who you're asking. Because none of this has yet to be "proven" people will argue for whoever's research and theories they agree with. I can give you some of my own personal (and I try really hard to be objective and steer clear of opinions, but that will always have a role so that's just my warning label of sorts, ha) but because this is such a big topic today it'd help if you were more specific... do you mean subconscious mind just basically like how we make decisions, fears, etc or do you want to go deeper meaning the abnormal subconscious mind and/or subconscious mind of trauma, etc. there are so many good out there. If you want recs let me know, but another good way to find is to do a bit of research online and/or going to a book store and looking at several books that deal with your specific questions... I hope this helps!(less)

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Amir Tesla
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
This book takes you to limbo. The materials, hypotheses and theories provided leaves you wondering and wondering.

Could you imagine hearing through your tongue or seeing with your ears? This sentence wasn't a hypothesis or theory, it was fact being already performed on real humans.

Now could you imagine capturing the map of your brain, transferring it to other body or even a computer. Namely, do you think your conscious mind could ever exist on a computer? Well it's true in theory and is being a
Britta Böhler
For those who read books about the brain, Eagleman's book might be a bit too 'basic', only scratching the surface of neuroscience. But if you are looking for a well written & accessible introduction into 'the workings of the brain', this is definitely a great book to start with. ...more
Nandakishore Varma
Writing a popular science book (I won't use the abhorrent term "pop science") is a dicey affair. If it becomes too scientific, it is not likely to be popular; but if it dumbs the science down too much, it tends not to be taken seriously by discerning readers. So the writer of such a tome has a tough time, striking exactly the right note - that is why very few people succeed in this field. David Eagleman is one such, and this book is gem.

Having read Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by the aut
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great introductory read with simple explanations for general readers. But for further readings, we could check the notes section. Highly recommended for introduction purpose, make it 5 star for this purpose.

This book made me want to read other books related to brain or neuro science.
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book of interest to everyone who has a brain.

Pop science in perfection - making science accessible for everyone in an engaging way, without requiring background knowledge. David Eagleman is a world wide renowned neuroscientist and he did a great job with finding the right words for a world audience.

Who are we, what do we experience as real, how do we make decisions and why does or brain need social contacts? Those are key questions I think everyone should think and learn ab
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't learn a single new thing about the brain in this book -- but that's not a criticism.

It simply means I've been reading a lot of brain books in recent years (and writing articles about the research), so I was eager to see how one of my favorite neuroscientists, David Eagleman, did on this companion book to his PBS series.

He did quite well, thank you. He covered gracefully and without numbing detail the waterfront of much recent research -- how the brain consists of competing networks, how
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it

Eagleman is quite an entertaining and passionate educator/writer/neuroscientist. His book The Brain: The Story of You is a fun and informative cursory exploration into the 'science' of who we are as intelligent, social, complex, and conscientious beings - well, most of anyway. I guess you could say, in a cheeky pun sort of way, it's a user-friendly synopsis of our synapses.

"Although the neuroscience is new, the institution has a long history. The ancient Greeks suggested that we should think o
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
As a preface I have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and study how the brain works as my job. Seeing positive reviews I thought this would be an interest book to read. After starting this book the first thing I have to say is, "wow." Not as in "wow that booked blew me away" but more "wow, I guess once you have media connections you can publish any piece of trash."

I understand the need to write a book for a lay audience, I really do. The unfortunate part is that much of what Eagleman presents in
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
Good introduction to the brain for people with no knowledge of science or neuroscience. I was hoping for something a little more in depth.
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The strange computational material in our skulls is the perceptual machinery by which we navigate the world, the stuff from which decisions arise, the material from which imagination is forged. Our dreams and our waking lives emerge from its billions of zapping cells"

A fun, entertaining and enlightening book, in which, David Eagleman introduces us to the fast growing brain science, exploring some of the brain wonders and sometimes it seems even like science fiction what that mysterious jelly ma
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: neuroscience
The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman

“The Brain" is an excellent companion piece to the six-part PBS series of the same title. Neuroscientist and best-selling author David Eagleman, educates and fascinates the general public with a wonderful popular-science examination of our brains. This captivating 224-page book includes the following six chapters: 1. Who am I?, 2. What is reality?, 3. Who’s in control?,4. How do I decide?, 5. Do I need you?, and 6. Who will we be?.

1. Popular
Took me forever to finish (why???) but was very interesting. Didn't like the part about us potentially becoming machines in the future, with our brains downloaded to a computer... The author got really excited about the possibilities but I just couldn't. Also would have liked more insights into what we understand a lit brain processes instead of future potential with computers, processing power, etc.
Annette Lulchak
The cover of this book is beautiful - and the pages are that thick, heavy sort that just scream quality. Yet what was written on them I found to be a little lacking. Eagleman clearly has a lot of passion for neurobiology and psychology, and references quite a few of his own experiments and what he learned from it. The passages on artificial intelligence were interesting and thought provoking, and the parts on empathy and the need for social interaction were not bad either. It touched quite a sur ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
If you haven’t read anything else about the human brain and how it works, you’ll probably find this interesting. It covers the usual points: a lot of interesting stuff about the way our brains work and the way they perceive the world. And it’s definitely presented in a readable, easy to understand fashion; I think it’d definitely be suitable for a layperson.

For me, however, it got boring pretty fast because I know this stuff. It’s hardly even revision for me – this is stuff I just know. I had th
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Definitely, the readers digest version of neuroscience but picks up some of the big findings and mention them. But it doesn't dig deep. This is an intro to the subject and a short book. A good start but one probably will want more after reading this. Not bad for such a short book though.
Keshav Bhatt
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book helped me appreciate the neuroscience behind how much of our mindset, perspective and identity is simply a matter of neural wiring. Who we are is a result of where we have been, and the story we create of ourselves based on our previous experiences. And it is exactly that. A story. Too often we do not see what is really happening, but a projection tainted by old ideas and memories. We see things as we are, not as they actually are. I knew this truth to self evident already but through ...more
Essam Munir
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
I consider this book as an introduction to the field of neuroscience, or something to be taught in schools. I wish I could have read this book some years ago when I started reading about the brain, as it would be the best introduction.
The narrative, as always, is interesting and warm and listening to this book narrated by Eagleman himself made it a better experience.
If you're looking for something new, then this book is not for you. But if you want to refresh your knowledge about the brain, then
Gökhan Şans
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beatifully writing.
Çok güzel.
Stijn Zanders
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-2019
The brain is one of the most complex systems known to man and David Eagleman wants to give his readers a summary of cutting-edge neuroscience research. Because of this complexity, the book is very shallow and only briefly touches the different subjects. It raises a lot of questions and perhaps I will read more books related to the magic of our brains, though those books should go deeper into specific areas.

A big positive of the book is that its subject matter is very much intertwined with other
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Read for my physiological psychology class, not going to review.
Romans Karpelcevs
This is one of those 3 star ratings when I liked the book, I really did, but somehow it's still not even a 4-star material.
Overall, a fascinating read, but many researches listed are in so many books they're not as fascinating any more. Some of the interpretations were too speculative, some weren't entirely interesting. I didn't feel like I needed to rewind the audio when I missed a few sentences because of a distraction. I don't feel like this is something you recommend to anyone you know.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Ha! My Science Book Club picked this (mostly because I suggested it and they're too lazy to come up with other ideas!) Maybe telling the gang that this book was short got it picked. And it IS short. Just over 200 pages of large print on small pages. But what an interesting 200 pages it was! Filled with anecdotes that illustrate the points the author was making, I learned so many cool things about the brain as I zipped through this book in three days (that's fast for me). It's told in a breezy, p ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is so fascinating!

This is a wonderful introduction into everything cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Although I knew if a lot of the studies mentioned it didn't lessen my enjoyment of this book.

If you want to find out more about the brain and what makes you, I 100% recommend this!

It's really easy to read and perfect for beginners! It's also nice and short!
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for everyone. A quick insight into the basics about how the brain functions, you'd get to appreciate yourself in a better and wiser way after reading this, as it will humble you a lot.
P.S. There is also a video series by the author on Amazon Prime and other platforms.
Hitessh Panchal
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's The User's Guide of the most important organ of your body, which explains every question you had in mind. Many things were ambiguous, but then over all it was fun reading it.

Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eagleman succeeds with a great book about the brain and the entity that lives inside it, for everyone who's not too familiar with neuroscience. His well written, basic explanation of how the human brain works is not too scientific and so good to educate the general public.
It's full of fascinating thoughts, facts and stories that amazed me, made me think and left me wondering.

"Our thoughts and our dreams, our memories and experiences all arise from this strange neural material."

This really made
Nick Davies
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Clearly a tie-in to a TV series I didn't actually see, this was an interesting whistle-stop tour of various aspects of neuroscience and psychology, packed to bursting points with illustrative examples. The general level at which it was pitched was OK for me - I would've appreciated a little more scientific depth in places, but keeping it relatively approachable for the non-scientist made for a quick and quirky read. Though there were several parts which I'd read about in greater depth before (as ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating book, full of interesting details about the brain. I was familiar with some of the information and stories but this did not detract. It's a great introduction into how the brain works and although I've previously read a number of books and articles on the subject, I did not find this one too basic.

It is a short book, so you can breeze through it fairly quickly, but I found that many of the topics and stories were so interesting I wanted more detail than the author provided
Shalu Ahuja
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book left me Wandering and wondering different perspective about Brain
🧠 is amalgam of strange computational material in our head where logic is connection, neurone or perceptual machine where we make up things and Each human gets (lives) own story?
🧠 is strange cosmos with power to create, evolve to supreme, and each night human experience a little death of consciousness, and new person wakes up next morning inherits all your memories and believe himself or herself asYou?
🧠 is interpreting o
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very many interesting updates on where we are and where we are going in terms of understanding what we are and how that going is happening.

Some of the things that struck me the most:

The world being a whole network of networks of neurons.
Brain being able to make sensory abstractions out of pretty much anything - oh and this one is definitely programmable.
Simulation of brain and potential of it.
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David Eagleman is a neuroscientist, an internationally bestselling author, a TED speaker, and a Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches neuroscience at Stanford University and is CEO of a neurotech startup. At night he writes. His books have been translated into 33 languages.

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