Your Brain: The Missing Manual: How to Get the Most from Your Mind
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Puzzles and brain twisters to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact are all the rage today. More and more people -- Baby Boomers and information workers in particular -- are becoming concerned about their gray matter's ability to function, and with good reason. As this sensible and entertaining guide points out, your brain is easily your most important possession. It deserves proper upkeep.
Your Brain: The Missing Manual is a practical look at how to get the most out of your brain -- not just how the brain works, but how you can use it more effectively . What makes this book different than the average self-help guide is that it's grounded in current neuroscience. You get a quick tour of several aspects of the brain, complete with useful advice about:
* Brain Food : The right fuel for the brain and how the brain commands hunger (including an explanation of the different chemicals that control appetite and cravings)
* Sleep : The sleep cycle and circadian rhythm, and how to get a good night's sleep (or do the best you can without it)
* Memory : Techniques for improving your recall
* Reason : Learning to defeat common sense; logical fallacies (including tactics for winning arguments); and good reasons for bad prejudices
* Creativity and Problem-Solving : Brainstorming tips and thinking not outside the box, but about the box -- in other words, find the assumptions that limit your ideas so you can break through them
* Understanding Other People's Brains : The battle of the sexes and babies developing brains
Learn about the built-in circuitry that makes office politics seem like a life-or-death struggle, causes you to toss important facts out of your memory if they're not emotionally charged, and encourages you to eat huge amounts of high-calorie snacks.
With Your Brain: The Missing Manual you'll discover that, sometimes, you can learn to compensate for your brain or work around its limitations -- or at least to accept its eccentricities. Exploring your brain is the greatest adventure and biggest mystery you'll ever face. This guide has exactly the advice you need.
pea-sized gland hangs out of the bottom of the brain, allowing it to slip hormones into your bloodstream whenever your brain gives the signal. The pituitary gland is often called the master gland, because it releases the hormones that tell the other glands (like the thyroid and adrenal glands) what to do. In this way, your brain can use the pituitary gland to exact precise control over the state of your body. Although you may have vaguely heard about the pituitary gland before, it’s already had
reserves, or start chewing through fat). But your brain has no such help. The end result is that a short time later you may find yourself irritable, unfocused, and anxious—and in need of another donut fix. 30 Chapter 2 The Sugar Rush Myth For decades, popular wisdom has counseled you to avoid sugary snacks when clocking several hours of work, while recommending them for an emergency energy burst when wrestling with a short task. And most people, eager for an excuse to consume a few dozen Milky
Extreme examples include hibernating animals, like bears, that doze an entire season to forego the inconvenience of roaming about. Dolphins are even stranger. They have the remarkable ability to keep an ever-watchful eye on their surroundings by putting just half of their brain to sleep at a time. (Humans still lack this ability, despite many of our best attempts.) Both these examples from the animal kingdom suggest that the natural requirements of sleep are a lot more flexible than one might
becoming physically larger. In fact, there’s a strong case that humans suffer far more pain giving birth than almost any other animal because of our comparatively huge heads, which we need to carry around our outsized brains. A Lap Around the Brain 9 • Existing brain hardware has been adapted for different uses. The human brain is remarkably flexible. In deaf children, it can assign brain parts normally used for hearing to other tasks, like understanding sign language. In blind children, the
human body, uniting every muscle and organ into a body-wide network called the nervous system. So far, you’ve learned how neurons can pass information between themselves. But the neurons on the outskirts of the nervous system get their input from something else. Depending on the type of neuron, they may fire signals in response to changes in heat, pressure (used for the sense of touch and sound), chemicals (for taste and smell), or light (for vision). These signals are then ferried up through the