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Paperback Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential Book

ISBN: 0609810057

ISBN13: 9780609810057

Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain's Potential

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Book Overview

In Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot, eminent neuropsychiatrist and bestselling author Richard Restak, M.D., combines the latest research in neurology and psychology to show us how to get our brain up to speed for managing every aspect of our busy lives.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Demonstrates depth of knowledge for multifaceted attack...

Usually when I read books on increasing intelligence, I'm disappointed. Usually one or two cliche' strategies surface in such books (with strategies that demonstrate the particular expertise of the author but ignoring many other strategies and forms of intelligence). With this book I was not disappointed. I did not want to sit down and read this book from cover to cover. The wide variety of strategies required too much gear shifting to allow a fly through reading. I needed a day or two to think about how to apply many of the chapters while a few I just blew off as either already in place or not for me (Example: I already run and lift weights and know I will never make time for tai chi without giving up time for walking/jogging; walking's proven in multiple studies to prevent stroke and obesity...not so with tai chi). So the selling point of the book (it's variety of strategies) makes it somewhat cumbersome to digest in a night but simultaneously makes the book the best I've seen on increasing intelligence. Dr. Restak gives 28 strategies (each described in only a few pages). I'd recommend putting this book on the kitchen counter or at the bedside and thinking about a chapter and it's application every day or two. I especially found interesting the last strategy about using technology to expand intelligence. I've written elsewhere (see review of "How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci") about the common practice of many of genius caliber to write in a journal. Dr. Restak takes the practice a step further to explain how journaling with current technology may enhance intelligence even further. The book's worth reading for the thoughts in this last chapter alone. Having spent time with many of superior intelligence and having cared (as a physician) for many with very low intelligence, I think intelligence is probably overated as a source of happiness and perhaps isn't the supreme blessing some make it out to be. Still this book gives a definite plan for increasing native intelligence to the degree individual genetics might afford; it's this maximization of potential (whatever it might be) that I think gives worth to the idea of improving intelligence and to this book as a means to that goal. For more on the subject, I recommend two books: For a more in depth analysis of journaling, read 1) How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. For a look at a particular technique recommended by Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo, and others, see 2)Anytime...for as Long as You Want: Strength, Genius, Libido, and Erection by Integrative Sex Transmutation.

I'm Already Smarter!

If I had read the reviews here, I never would have bought this book. Boy am I glad I bought this book first! I won't deny that the writing style is a bit inconsistent (but the author does, after all, admit in the pages of this very book that he sometimes forces himself to write a certain number of pages per hour, which presumably takes precedence over consistency). I also would not deny that some of the chapters are more useful than others. For example, I found the space devoted to a literary description of how to do Tai Chi rather puzzling (if you want to learn Tai Chi, take physical lessons from someone who knows). However, the fundamental high-level lessons of this book are backed up by research and are worth the price of the book alone. The basic lessons are things like: a) strengthening one part of your brain can strengthen others b) exercising the brain can help it work better c) there are many different types of cognition (cognition is not IQ), and all of these areas can be trained d) you can grow new neurons, the brain is more plastic than we originally believed, and your brain can actually get better with age. These lessons are invaluable, and anyone who takes these lessons to heart should be actively seeking out new and creative ways to give his or her brain a continual full-brain workout. Much of the book is devoted to ideas about how to do just this; how to exercise the brain. But rather than pick apart each individual idea, you should view this as just a tiny sample of the sorts of things you can do to condition the brain, and an affirmation that creatively generating such brain-conditioning exercises is a useful lifelong goal. Does it work? Since beginning my full-brain workout program, my scores on ThinkFast have gone up a number of levels and I sure *feel* smarter. You'll have to judge your own results for yourself.

Not for Beginners or Neurosurgeons, Good Intermediate Read.

Among the books about improving your thinking, this book takes you one step further. This is not just an explanation of thinking skills but an overview of the interactions among the various parts of the brain. It includes suggestions for general brain health as well as activities that involve multiple areas of the brain, which in turn form new neuro connections.The second half of the title "Unleashing Your Brain's Potential" is more appropriate for the content of this book. N. Illing, author of SPARKS Ignite Imagination, an informational activity book for stretching the imagination.

To build your mind, this book is important.

Ignore the negative review[s]. Yes some of the author's recommendations may seem basic. But they build towards others: Other recommendations include memory-building and thinking exercises which are actually quite challenging. An excellent book of real and healthy and intelligent ideas. Also, Dr. Restak kindly includes an excellent bibliography.

Maintain Your Brainspeed

Maintain your airspeed and you'll live a lot longer is the first lesson a pilot learns. Same with your intellectual life; maintain your brainspeed by giving it new challenges everyday of your life.If there are 30 people in a room, which is more likely; that nobody has the same birthday as somebody else in the room, or that at least two pepople share a birthday?You have 99 pennies and I have one. You flip one of them. If it comes up heads, I give you my penny and the game is over. If it comes up, tails you give me a penny and we play again. On average, how many times will we flip coins until a game ends? Is it closer to 1 or closer to 100?You have 12 identical coins, except one weighs slightly different than the rest. You have a balance that can detect minute differences in weight. what is the minimum number of comparisons you must perform to find the odd coin and determine if it heavier or lighter than the rest? Would you be surprised to know you can do it in 3 weighings?The answers to such questions are within reach of most people. Devoting time each day to thinking about such 'games' can keep your brain up to speed and allow you to live richer life.Dr. Restak offers a variety of ways to stimulate your thinking, have fun, and keep your brain healthy.
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