Norwegian title: Hjernen er stjernen
How has your week been? I hope it’s been good. I was on a little learning roll this summer and after The Wonder Down Under I went on to learn about The Wonder Up Top aka. the brain – our own superhero. The synopsis is borrowed from Amazon:
Why does the brain work the way it does? Can eating certain foods improve your memory? Can you activate the parts of the brain you don’t use? Can you smile yourself to happiness? What is free will, and do we really possess it?
These big questions, and many more, are investigated to uncover all the secrets of your most wondrous, mysterious, and irreplaceable organ. Your brain makes you who you are – it is the root of your personality and intelligence. It learns languages, creates memories, and interprets complex patterns. But it is also responsible for your bad decisions and it rewards addictive behaviors.
In Your Superstar Brain, neuroscientist Dr. Kaja Nordengen describes in mesmerizing detail how the brain works – both how it’s physically constructed with neurons, synapses, and the cerebral cortex, but also how it functions on a more abstract level – everything from what happens when we fall in love to where we find our sense of self.
Join Dr. Kaja Nordengen on her fascinating journey through the many unexplored territories of the intricate human brain, and find out why your brain is truly a superstar.
This was a fun book for me. During my BSc, I did Biological Psychology where the brain was quite central, and a lot of the things I learned back then, and still remember I might add, came up in this book. When you start to learn about the brain you become truly fascinated, at least I was, that we have such an organ that we take ‘for granted’ during our daily lives. The brain is there, it does its thing, and we benefit immensely from that. I don’t think about my brain unless I’ve got a headache or can’t sleep at night. How weird is that? The brain controls so much that we don’t even think about it in our daily lives, and the fact that babies grow so many brain cells during their first year just seems bizarre. This book highlights known and unknown things about our brain and I learned quite a bit. When I think about what I learned now and that there still is so much to uncover in this fascinating medical area one can become overwhelmed. Further, I believe it is good to read books that remind us of what remarkable creatures we humans are, and reading this book I understood that I should have started and kept up with my crosswords a long time ago! Haha.
The book takes up several aspects of the brain and I feel that it gave quite a good overview of the essentials. I also very much appreciated the fact that Nordengen presents the facts in an easy manner. There aren’t a lot of complicated medical terms in this book and when they do show up they are explained properly. The explanations of our brain are further supported with good illustrations of the anatomy of the brain and this keeps the reader engaged. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s left their doctor’s office and thought ‘What was it he really told me?’. The book also gives insight into how you can influence the brain psychologically. As far as lectures about the brain go I believe this book is way better than many of the lectures I had during my education. The key discussion points are the evolution of the brain, our memory, personality as well as our sense of direction. Other things are presented as well but I suppose something should be left for the reader…
Since we’re getting close to Christmas I’d like to recommend this book as a present for the person who wishes to learn something new, a teen who wonders why the brain is doing all sorts of weird things, or the person who wonders what to read next. This book is great in order to understand yourself and how your choices in life might affect your brain. This was a book I really enjoyed and it motivated me to read more books like it about the brain!
Theme: The brain, anatomy, science, psychology
– The Book Reader