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Welcome to Your Brain

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  1,324 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
The popular, myth-busting guide to the neuroscience of everyday life, by two high-profile neuroscientists.

In this lively book, Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang dispel common myths about the brain and provide a comprehensive, useful overview of how it really works. In its pages, you’ll discover how to cope with jet lag, how your brain affects your religion, and how men’s and wom
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ebook, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published March 4th 2008)
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Jim
Previous reviews of this book have ranged from high praise to disdain. This diversity of opinion may reflect a broad spectrum of interests, and background in neuroscience, among the reviewers.

As a career neuroscientist, my view is that the authors have done an excellent job of portraying brain and cognitive function, with a subtle but rigorous depth that professionals can appreciate for their individual areas of interest. For more general readers, there is a clear focus throughout on everyday ex
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Todd Martin
Welcome to Your Brain is a nice overview of the brain and its functions. Although it doesn’t go into much depth, the book is well written and easy to read. Overall, it’s an good introduction to neuroscience for non-scientists.

Two criticisms:
1) The book is replete with bounded side boxes, each a few paragraphs in length, with a short explanation of a topic related to the main text. I found these to be both distracting and annoying as you are forced to repeatedly interrupt the flow of the book wi
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Karlan
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, ya
Although published for adults, this reminded me of the good ya nonfiction I enjoy reading. The great subtitle sets the tone for an exploration of recent knowledge about the human brain. I keep telling friends bits of information I learned in the small boxes throughout. Did you know frequent jet lag can cause brain damage? 25% of the US population sneezes when they see a bright light. And lots of amusing quotes, too. Made me want to do a booktalk.
Wilson
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(Note: This review is for the audio version, which at the time of this writing isn't listed on Goodreads.)

This book was okay. I learned some interesting things. Most people would learn more than I did, because I follow the Brain Science Podcast and have read other brain science books.

The most valuable thing I learned was just how scary strokes are. Holy crap. To me, that stuff is scarier than any horror story!

What I disliked the most was the chapter on religion. The parts of the chapters that ar
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Asmaa
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب جميل،يعرض معلومات علمية بطريقة جذابة و بسيطة.
في كل فصل يضع معلومة علمية لافتة وخرافة منتشرة.
يحوي الكتاب ستة أقسام رئيسية:
-دماغك والعالم.
-التعرف إلى حواسك.
-كيف يتغير دماغك خلال كامل الحياة.
-دماغك العاطفي.
-دماغك العقلاني.
-دماغك في حالات معدلة.

كل قسم يتكون من ٤-٦فصول قصيرة تقريباً.

استمتعتُ به حقاً.
Peter Mcloughlin
A great addition for the seventh grade school library but a little light for an adult.
☘Misericordia☘  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈   ❂❤❣
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story:
It’s a book about your brain. What we know about how it works, what we don’t know, and everything in between. The book helps to dispel a lot of popular myths (we do use more than just 10% of our brain) and discusses several studies on how our brain works with our senses, reasoning, intelligence, and more.

Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable book that almost anyone would find something interesting in. While it seems a bit technical at times, it makes efforts to break everything down and has humor
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C. Hsiung
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You don't need to read this book in chronological order. Each chapter is self-contained and contains a number of boxed articles that are interesting and sometimes insightful. It's a good book to go back to or to pick up any chapter at random and start reading. If you're curious about the workings of the brain, you'll find this book interesting.
Kim
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, audiobook
A decent book with good description of a variety of topics involving the brain, decision-making, diseases and neuroscience for the lay person. If you are a neuroscientist you might find it a bit simplistic, but for most people it makes the topics accessible. If you want to know more about how your brain works, this is the book for you!
Courtney Himes
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book if you like to challenge your mind! I really enjoy exploring how your brain really works. It also offers challenging quizzes, test, and puzzles for people who enjoy those kinds of things!
David
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
While there are some incredibly interesting parts of this book about how your brain works I feel like the book was bogged down with some of the more scientific explanations. I felt at times like I was reading a text book, which is not so enjoyable to me.
Crystal
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
So far, I'm really enjoying this book. It debunks a lot of common brain myths and has good, seemingly accurate information written in a readable, but not condescending, way.
Hopemontier
This book doesn't cover any new ground, and it's a bit on the simplistic side fr me, but it's clear and readable.
Jan
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this, but I would have enjoyed more depth for fewer subjects. Having written this, I reserve my right to return and change to higher marks (most likely not giving fewer stars) as I recognize some of these revelations -- ahem, extended welcomes -- play out in my life. Good for direct descriptions, this book tempts me to read more about how our brains work and sometimes fail to work.
Sameer Alshenawi
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
دليل شامل و بسطت لكيفية عمل المخ. مفيد جدا للمهتمين بعلم النيروساينس من غير المختصين ..التجارب العملية و النصائح عنصر مثير في الكتاب ..الا من بعض الملل او الصعوبة من اسماء الأجزاء التشريحية في عالم المخ .
Karen Caulfield
A well-written and organized overview of what is known about how the brain works. It is a little on the dry side and probably could have used a little more anecdotal evidence.
büşra
tıpın içindeki biri için biraz basit, tıpın dışındaki biri için dili biraz ağır bence.Beklentimi karşılamadı
Xin
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elementary book about brain and neuroscience. If you want answers to deep questions, this is not a book for you.
Kaitlin
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a lot of great information here. I haven't read too much about the brain yet but over the last few months have read What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain and Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, all of which deal in some way with the brain. Of the four, this was the densest. It doesn't presuppose that the reader has any relevant knowledge, but the authors aren't bashful about using medical t ...more
Thurston Hunger
I'm not sure what the genre for these books is. To a degree the old "popular science" applies, with the accent here on popularity. But the formatting, I guess I would call "splash non-fiction." It seems the goal is to break up the experience of page-after-page text, which is probably a good thing, but which leaves this reader feeling a bit like the target in a shell game. Computers/magazines have blazed the way in busting up typesetting columns (and I remember Coupland's "Generation X" as a pion ...more
Kunal
Dec 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is was overall an interesting book, but was highly too technical and scientific for me to fully comprehend. It was interesting to learn about what causes some of the decisions we make, but as I am finding with the brain, it is a field of study that is extremely complex and with my lack of interest in the sciences, I find it more and more difficult to follow along with these books. One thing that I will never forget about is the research they had done looking at what are the real causes of h ...more
Scott To
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10th-grade
When beginning to read this book, I was excited to learn about the basic functions of the brain and answers to many unclear answers. Continuing into the book I realized that the book contains many terms that I'm unclear of currently, by looking in the dictionary, I found out what these scientific terms mean but still had trouble throughout understanding the specific long terms. My favorite parts of the book is the times where they mention something similar to me, for instance, yawning and what i ...more
Emily
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Do you like reading textbooks but wish they were just a little cheekier with more frequent asides and little sidebars of clever information? Then, this book is for you. A lot of what's in here I've heard or read elsewhere and in almost every case, those stories were better told in that elsewhere. Part of the problem, I suspect, is that the authors are attempting to summarize ALL the cool stuff about the brain into an un-intimidating sized book. This inevitably leads to heavy duty reduction of th ...more
Michael
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I find myself increasingly enjoying nonfiction, this book reminded me why it is a genre I don’t read voraciously. There were sections of the book that I found fascinating (such as the sections of how drugs affect the brain and the chapter about the link [or non-link] between vaccines and autism) and I was continually learning throughout the course of the book. Even the chapters focusing on how the brain transmits information and then stores it were interesting.

Unfortunately, this book fal
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Rachel Brady
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up out of personal interest. I love learning more about how our brains work--always have. Most of the reading I do on the subject is technical, so it was wonderful to find a book written in lay language. This made it engaging and fun.

The authors cover all kinds of interesting topics: why some of us are morning people and others are night owls, why some people sneeze when they go out in bright sunlight, the intricacies of language, whether cramming for exams really works, the aging
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Silas
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a popular science book, this struck a good balance. It didn't flinch from using the correct names for parts of the brain, but did a good job of helping a lay person understand what those parts do, in general, and giving you a basic understanding of relatively recent research about how the brain works. I learned a good bit from this, having only had some exposure to these ideas before, and though I didn't retain exactly which part of the brain does what in my long term memory, I felt that it w ...more
James
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good book to get up to speed quickly on how the ol' noggin works--and doesn't work. It's an intro level book, full of interesting, myth-busting factoids, so it belongs on the coffee table. Easy to read and accessible, mostly because it's got so many metaphors and analogies whenever some "hard" concept is introduced. Chapters are short and sweet, too. It's main strength is on the application of knowledge about the brain in everyday events that we take for granted. Loved the part on theory of mind ...more
Lisa Ard
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun read for a layperson wanting to know why our brain works the way it does. Written by Sam Wang, an associate professor of neuroscience... and Sandra Aamodt, neuroscience postdoc and editor in chief for Nature Neuroscience, the authors do an outstanding job of making a difficult topic fun and accessible.

After a tour of the brain, its key parts and functions, the book is divided into sections covering the senses, how one's brain changes throughout life, emotions, rational thinking and
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Aaron Vivar
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It was my first actual book that I read that involved science. I had to read it for my incoming ninth grade biology assignment but the book was packed with a lot of information and in fact taught me a lot. I actually ended up doing my exhibition with the help / evidence of this book (my exhibition was about how sleep affect the brain and memory function). This book is basically an introduction to neurology (study of the brain) and how it works. Not all the answers t ...more
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