Is there anything more applicable to each and every one of us than the study of neuroscience? If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on in that head of yours – or, perhaps, what’s going on in the heads of your family, friends, and coworkers – this is the book for you.
Written by two neuroscientists, Welcome to Your Brain provides an accessible and even fun entry point into what can seem like an intimidating topic. This isn’t some dry, college-level science textbook, however. Think of it more as a map or guidebook to what’s happening in that organ taking up space between your ears. And luckily for us, the authors are gifted writers, turning the complicated into the understandable, while making you laugh along the way.
Structured in six parts, Welcome to Your Brain takes us from the basics of your brain’s composition, to how the brain handles the five senses, to its development in childhood and its changes throughout life and old age. The authors also explore your “emotional” brain, your “rational” brain, and your brain in altered states. Each chapter within the sections contains interesting sidebars, either dispelling myths (no, we don’t only use 10% of our brain) or providing practical tips (such as how, scientifically speaking, to combat jet lag).
Many readers of this book would likely be especially interested in the section and chapters about brain development and the brain’s changes throughout our lives. We probably all want to know how we can best support brain development in young children, while also figuring out how to guard against brain function decay late in life. There’s a lot of societal anxiety, understandably, about both.
You’ll have to read that whole section for all the pertinent information on this, but I’ll say here, for the parents of young children, there’s no actual scientific evidence that playing Mozart for your babies makes them smarter. However, signing them up for piano lessons, for instance, does have a positive effect on brain development. Passive consumption of music does nothing. Instead, have them actually learn to play.
If you’re thinking about the opposite end of things and looking for a magic elixir to stave off mental decline late in life, look no further than physical exercise. That’s the single best way you can support brain health and fight dementia in age. Even older people who take up exercise late in life show mental benefits from it.
This book is filled with information that can help you better understand yourself and those around you. Use your brain and read it.
(Originally published here: http://msbusiness.com/blog/2015/02/12/louann-lofton-check-engaging-guidebook-brain/)