Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves by Eric R. Kandel

One of the most complex unsolved mysteries in science is how the brain produces consciousness.  The study of brain disorders not only helps us understand and treat those conditions; it also renders insights into questions about human consciousness, sense of



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Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf

How often do you read in a deep and sustained way fully immersed, even transformed, by entering another person’s world?  In her newest book, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World,Maryanne Wolf cautions that, the way our



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Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

More than any other life stage adolescence is derided and characterized as an unpredictable, turbulent storm. In Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain, University College London cognitive neuroscience professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore argues that we need to stop



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Surprise: The Adolescent Brain Isn’t Broken

Chapter 2 of Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain kicks off with a teenager’s diary entry from April of 1969: I went to arts centre (by myself!) in yellow cords and blouse. Ian was there but he



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Life Without Memory: Your Hippocampus and You

Who are you without your memory? In neurobiological lingo: who are you without your hippocampus? The Best-Known Answer No doubt you’ve heard of Henry Molaison, aka H. M., whose hippocampi were removed in order to cure debilitating epilepsy. The good



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The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-between by Abigail Marsh

Abigail Marsh’s 2017 book , reviews research by her and others showing that extraordinary altruists and psychopaths may be two extremes of a bell-curve of human caring with altruists and psychopaths distinguished by how sensitive they are to feelings of



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Attack of the Teenage Brain!: Understanding and Supporting the Weird and Wonderful Adolescent Learner by John Medina

John Medina, developmental molecular biologist and New York Times best-selling author, has written a book about how to parent and teach teenagers in light of what we know about adolescent social, cognitive, and neural development.  In Attack of the Teenage



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Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children by Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao, University of Kansas Professor of education, has published over 30 books, including a few reviewed here at Learning and the Brain about the importance of entrepreneurship and  creativity  for producing a well-educated citizenry, even though the educational culture



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The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius by Gail Saltz

Gail Saltz, author of The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius, argues that given the heterogeneity in human brain functioning “the very phrase brain differences is a redundancy.” This book describes traits and gifts associated with seven



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You, Your Child, and School: Navigating Your Way to the Best Education by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica previously argued in their 2015 book Creative Schools (reviewed here) that we should pursue individualized and holistic learning.  The duo have now written a sequel of sorts, for parents of school age children. In You,



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