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Paperback Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance Book

ISBN: 1594484430

ISBN13: 9781594484438

Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

From a renowned neuroscientist and bestselling author comes a book that shows readers how to improve and tone the brain. In the last five years, there have been exciting new scientific discoveries about the brain, its function, and its performance. In this fascinating, entertaining book, brain expert Dr. Richard Restak has asked his colleagues-the world's leading brain scientists and researchers-an important question: What can I do to help my brain...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

odd thing to say but probably the best investment I made in 2009

I found this book really usefull because it both explains things (causes, actions, consequences) and gives practical advice on what you should do (specific diet, specific exercises and so on) Now, I just need to be smart and follow those advices :D But really, the book turned out surprisingly good and I must point out that I am a regular person with no medical background. Everything is presented in a logical way and in sufficient depth to keep it interesting 5 stars

How to Train Your Brain!

Neuroscience, the convergence of neurology and psychology, holds amazing potential in answering many of today's pressing questions. Dr. Richard Restak's book explains research findings in a way that is understandable and ties them together in a way that is riveting. For people who are interested in how to ensure that their brains age gracefully, this book offers easy to understand tips from regular exercise to what foods to eat. It also debunks myths and old wives' tales that have been floating around for years.

A book you can use, not just pop sci theory.

I had a boss who used to yell at us "If you don't think too good don't think too much". Just like a Wall Street hero, no? Anyway, he couldn't be more wrong. This fine book issues from many years of research to proclaim that we truly can become smarter at a profound yet practical level. We can dwarf the IQs so many of us were saddled with as children. There is nothing like a little good science to rinse all the cultural goop out of our hair. Moreover, Dr. Restak is a good doctor to his readers. This is not a self-help or feel good book. It is real practical science from a careful source. I wish I had this book when I was thirteen, but I am making use of it decades later. Then I could have used his description of the adolescent and adult brains. I like his writing style and the organization he employs. Dr. Restak starts off Part One with a little scientific context so we can more fully appreciate his developing program in Part Two: how to care for and use our brains. First we take care of the whole body as an organic system. Proper diet is a real foundation; transfats and weight in general do matter. The next realm is physical activity. Seems all so simple, but he makes his case in a direct way you do not see everyday in other health discussions. And he addresses that most un-American of activities -- sleep. We have been dang near the most sleep deprived nation on Earth for decades now. He points out that we worry more after not enough sleep. Once you give yourself a fighting chance by addressing fundamentals, you can address mental performance. Memory in its many aspects (even sense memory), creativity, games and more all explore the different dimensions of brain capacity or performance. Mental exercises, he remarks are beneficial only when you do not dislike them. You find yourself putting the book down every few pages to try out his recommendations (including naps). It took me way longer to read this pleasant book because I had to stop and see for myself, even when I agreed in an abstract way. The brain truly does follow the hand. Dally through part three and enjoy the working tour of your brain. Part four discusses the use of technology, with special consideration of the adult mind. Part Five expands earlier topics around creativity. Finally Part Six discusses impediments that either we have now or will have later. Average intelligence has quite enough to brain power to achieve excellence . Americans have a long history of proving exactly this proposition. Lately this keystone of democracy seems to have been lost in the noise.

First, get out your highlighters!

Dr. Restak's book is replete with information and suggestions for extending one's productive and enjoyable years of life. In addition, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The theme of this book is a response to the question "What should I do to keep my brain working at its best?" Using today's most current scientific knowledge, Dr. Restak attempts to answer it, and in layman's terms. He begins with a description of the brain, its "care and feeding," and subsequently outlines specific steps to enhance and improve it. Here's where you unleash those highlighters! Next, he addresses the "creative brain," a lively discussion with a series of examples aimed at "thinking out of the box." This is followed by a chapter of special importance to "the senior citizen" (Who, Me?), which addresses the impediments, ageing among them, to optimal brain function, cautionary perhaps, but also encouraging. The epilogue is a handy summarization of many of the essential points detailed earlier. As a caregiver, I found Dr. Restak's description of the debilitating effects of stress on the human brain more than just timely. His suggestions for ways to compensate for such inescapable stress, as well as those in the section addressing "mood enhancers," will be gratefully incorporated into my daily life.

Unbiased broad overview by a professor, not some salesman

I'm a psychology graduate student, and gotta say I see a lot of over simplified articles and books about this subject that range from misleading to biased to exaggeratedly optimistic. Some focus on one area to the exclusion of all the other things we could be doing. And some are written by folks trying to sell something. This solid, useful book suffers from none of these problems. The author is a professor of clinical neurology, a neuroscientist, and has also developed an easy readable style of the course of writing many magazine articles and books. He never talks down to us or avoids the hard areas. You feel it's a pleasant conversation with someone who is weighing the (often tentative) evidence to do his best to ethically recommend reasonable actions. There's a clear overview of the wet three pound blob we call a brain, then sections on its care and feeding, brain exercises , latest video game reviews, a good review of K. Anders Ericsson's work on deliberative practice vs. `talent' and a look to the future. The material is bang up to date (2009) and doesn't seem to make any huge unsubstantiated leaps. If you are looking for an excellent review of the whole subject, along with advice you can trust, it's hard to think of a better book you can buy.
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