Saturday, July 29, 2006

Review: Mind Wide Open

Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson (author of Emergence) is a book about a journey into the workings into the human brain in an attempt to create a better self awareness of your responses to external stimuli. Mr. Johnson shows how the personality tests of old and theories of previous psychologists are presented using modern technology to paint a picture of the brains responses to stress, fear, love, joy, creativity and more.

I enjoyed this book. Mr. Johnson's words about self-awareness reverberated with the way I feel. A better knowledge of self may not be able to create a "super-human" out of you, but it can help explain your phobias, or tension breaking patterns in terms of brain chemistry at play and perhaps help you deal with the former and work within the latter. One of the interesting experiments that Mr. Johnson talks about is his desire to see what his brain is doing during the creation and formulation of his work and craft, writing. So he goes through a series of tests in a fMRI machine to show what his brain is doing during simple tasks like reading others works or reading his own works, but he also has the chance to show what his brain is during while formulating ideas and concepts.

I do recommend this book, it is a good read, and is light on the neuroscience (just enough for the layman) but strong on the concept of knowing yourself.

I do recommend this one for you, Jay!

1 comment:

Jay Heuer said...

Try "On Intelligence"... mindblowing. Not so much about self-improvement as the quest to understand how intelligence emerges from our brain...