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Why do you lose arguments with people who know MUCH LESS than you? Why can you recognise that woman, from that thing... but can't remember her name?And why, after your last break-up, did you find yourself in the foetal position on the sofa for days, moving only to wipe the snot and tears haphazardly from your face?Here's why: the idiot brain. For something supposedly so brilliant and evolutionarily advanced, the human brain is pretty messy, fallible and disorganised. For example, did you know that your memory is egotistical? That conspiracy theories and superstitions are the inevitable effects of a healthy brain? Or that alcohol can actually improve your memory?** In The Idiot Brain, neuroscientist Dean Burnett tours our mysterious and mischievous grey (and white) matter. Along the way he explains the human brain's imperfections in all their glory and how these influence everything we say, do and experience. Expertly researched and entertainingly written, this book is for anyone who has wondered why their brain appears to be sabotaging their life, and what on earth it is really up to.**Editor's note: please read the book before testing this conclusion.
Emotions. They're a pain, aren't they? If only we were all a little less emotional and a lot more rational, we wouldn't get ourselves into half the scrapes we do.But is that a fair synopsis? Are emotions really some form of cognitive appendix that we'd be better off without? Or do they serve a deeper purpose? For them to take up so much of our brain's precious resources, emotions must have evolved for a reason. What is that reason? And how do they work in the brain? Are they innate, wired in from the word go, allowing a baby to cry with distress mere seconds after exiting the womb? Or are they learned, over time and through our experiences of dealing with others? In The Emotional Brain, Dean Burnett investigates all these questions - and many more besides. Combining in-depth research with expert analysis, the end result is a fascinating and endlessly entertaining account of the science underlying our emotional lives.
One in four people experience a mental health problem each year, with depression and anxiety alone afflicting over 500 million people. Why are these conditions so widespread?
In his research into these questions - and many more besides - Burnett unravels our complex internal lives to reveal the often surprising truth behind what makes us tick.