The Idiot Brain A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head is Really Up to
A neuroscientist's delightful tour of our mysterious, mischievous, entirely fallible grey matter
It's happened to all of us at some point. You walk into the kitchen, or flip open your laptop, or stride confidently up to a lectern, filled with purpose'and suddenly haven't the foggiest idea what you're doing. Welcome to your idiot brain.
Yes, it is an absolute marvel in some respects'the seat of our consciousness, the pinnacle (so far) of evolutionary progress and the engine of all human experience'but your brain is also messy, fallible and about 50,000 years out of date. We cling to superstitions, remember faces but not names, miss things sitting right in front of us and lie awake at night while our brains replay our greatest fears on an endless loop.
Yet all of this, believe it or not, is the sign of a well-meaning brain doing its best to keep you alive and healthy. In The Idiot Brain, neuroscientist Dean Burnett celebrates blind spots, blackouts, insomnia and all the other downright laughable things our minds do to us, while also exposing the many mistakes we've made in our quest to understand how our brains actually work. Expertly researched and entertainingly written, this book is for everyone who has wondered why their brain appears to be sabotaging their life, and what on earth it is really up to.
From the hugely popular Guardian science blogger, a surprising, funny and mind-bending examination of how and why the brain sabotages our behaviour.
Dr Dean Burnett is a neuroscientist working as a tutor and lecturer based at Cardiff University's Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences. He has been dabbling in stand-up and comedy writing for over a decade. His Guardian Science blog, 'Brain Flapping', has been viewed over 13 million times in the last three years.