Idiot Brain

It’s the seat of the magic lantern show that you’re privy to every day. It’s where your consciousness is generated. It controls the functions of your body. It’s where your personality and memories reside. It’s your brain. And yet what do we really know about this 3.3 pound gelatinous mass inside our skulls? Quite a lot, actually. Much more than people outside universities realise. Thankfully, Dr Dean Burnett of Cardiff University has produced a handy guide for the general reader.

The brain is messy, fallible, and about 50,000 years out-of-date for the modern day world. 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. Nevertheless, all of this is the sign of your brain doing its best to keep you alive and healthy. In Idiot Brain, neuroscientist Burnett celebrates blind spots, blackouts, insomnia, and all the other downright laughable things our minds do to us. He also exposes 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. You don’t need to be that brainy to read it.


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336 pages in Guardian Faber

First published 2016

ISBN  978-1783350810


Dr Dean Burnett


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