Your brain, the missing manual

Today I want to recommend you a book that I always have on my desk: Your brain, the missing manual, by Matthew Macdonald.

Working with Hypnosis makes you be extremely curious about the brain, what it looks like, how it works, what can you do with it,…! I always enjoy reading this book and go back to it from time to time.  If you want to know more about the brain and want to have fun while reading this is a great book.

Here is a small extract:

YOUR BRAIN: THE GROUND RULES

Although it’s sometimes difficult (and always controversial) to draw specific conclusions about human behaviour based on brain anatomy, the evolutionary history of the brain suggests a few lessons:

-Your brain is compartmentalized. Different regions of your brain do different things.

- Your brain has competing systems. Because the human brain was cobbled together over vast oceans of time, it’s not surprise that it’s parts don’t always work in harmony. For example, a sudden scare can cause your brain to briefly shut down its higher-level functioning and respond with the survival strategies that are coded at a deeper level (namely, “Run!”). This is one of the reasons you are likely to perform poorly at complex tasks when you are under stress ( don’t try to add complex sums when fleeing from a bear). You’ll see a similar battle-in-the-brain when you consider how perception works with optical illusions, or how logical thinking can overrule passionate emotions.

- Some things you  can change, some you can’t. Some of the brains most critical tasks are controlled by the most primitive areas of the brain, and they can’t be overruled. For example, you’ll have a hard time willing yourself to stop breathing, digest faster, or shift your internal body temperature a tenth to a degree, even though all these processes are controlled by the brain.

- Your brain might not be suited for the modern world. Reasonable estimates suggest that the last major change  in the brain’s anatomy dates back over 100.000 years. In other words, we are all living in a modern world with a somewhat outdated brain. How well the human brain has adapted to fast cars, fast food, and chronic stress is a matter of a debate.

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Posted in Uncategorized, September 25th, 2010 | Eva Palmer

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