Unexpectedly Intriguing!
September 4, 2015
Garth Sundem's 'Your Daily Brain'

Garth Sundem has a new book out! Your Daily Brain: 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain promises to take readers through a typical day in the life of their brains, breaking the day into 5 to 15 minute intervals to consider what is actually happening inside their heads and identifying ways to get optimal performance out of their mind's work.

That kind of structure makes it very different from his previous books, particularly those that explore how both the brain and intelligence work with greater detail. By contrast, each section of the brain's day presented in Your Daily Brain blasts through at near warp speed.

And yet, despite covering each episode of a brain's day in just a few pages, there's a wealth of information about what science has discovered about how the brain works, ranging from the practical to "really?!"

As an example of practical, just consider the exercise of trying to remember where you might have left your car keys, if you're someone who is prone to misplacing them. Remembering information like that is really a three stage process, where your brain needs to first encode the information, store it, then recall it when needed. To remember where your keys are requires you to first draw upon your brain's hippocampus when you first set them down, which does the job of encouding and setting priority tags in your head for the information, but if you really want to remember where you left them, you need to tap into your brain's emotional centers to create a stronger, easier to recall memory of where you placed them.

Which works pretty well, unless you're emotionally stressed when you're trying to remember where you left your keys. In that case, you can try a cued-retrieval approach, like going through a list, to try to prompt your brain into recalling the memory.

Then there are those "really?!" moments! Did you know that science has indicated that the color of the capsule for a placebo, or rather, a sugar pill made up to look like actual medication, can actually influence how effective it is at "treating" a given condition?

For instance, there is real research that indicates that placebos in red capsules are more effective as stimulants, while placebos in blue capsules are more effective as sleep aids. So at least Morpheus' question regarding which color pill Neo could choose from The Matrix was scientifically appropriate!

But which of these colors you should have your office painted to enhance your productivity there is something you'll have to discover in reading the book! As is the secret of controlling your co-workers minds....

Speaking of which, the book is actually co-authored/branded with retailer Marbles: The Brain Store, so if you live in a city with one of their locations, you might find it there. Or your local book store, or Amazon.

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