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Your Brain: The Missing Manual: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) [Kindle Edition]

Matthew MacDonald
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.50
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Product Description

Product Description

Puzzles and brain twisters to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact are all the rage today. More and more people -- Baby Boomers and information workers in particular -- are becoming concerned about their gray matter's ability to function, and with good reason. As this sensible and entertaining guide points out, your brain is easily your most important possession. It deserves proper upkeep.

Your Brain: The Missing Manual is a practical look at how to get the most out of your brain -- not just how the brain works, but how you can use it more effectively. What makes this book different than the average self-help guide is that it's grounded in current neuroscience. You get a quick tour of several aspects of the brain, complete with useful advice about:

  • Brain Food: The right fuel for the brain and how the brain commands hunger (including an explanation of the different chemicals that control appetite and cravings)
  • Sleep: The sleep cycle and circadian rhythm, and how to get a good night's sleep (or do the best you can without it)
  • Memory: Techniques for improving your recall
  • Reason: Learning to defeat common sense; logical fallacies (including tactics for winning arguments); and good reasons for bad prejudices
  • Creativity and Problem-Solving: Brainstorming tips and thinking not outside the box, but about the box -- in other words, find the assumptions that limit your ideas so you can break through them
  • Understanding Other People's Brains: The battle of the sexes and babies developing brains

Learn about the built-in circuitry that makes office politics seem like a life-or-death struggle, causes you to toss important facts out of your memory if they're not emotionally charged, and encourages you to eat huge amounts of high-calorie snacks. With Your Brain: The Missing Manual you'll discover that, sometimes, you can learn to compensate for your brain or work around its limitations -- or at least to accept its eccentricities.

Exploring your brain is the greatest adventure and biggest mystery you'll ever face. This guide has exactly the advice you need.

About the Author

Matthew MacDonald is a science and technology writer with well over a dozen books to his name. Web novices can tiptoe out onto the Internet with him in Creating a Website: The Missing Manual. HTML fans can learn about the cutting edge of web design in HTML5: The Missing Manual. And human beings of all description can discover just how strange they really are in the quirky handbooks Your Brain: The Missing Manual and Your Body: The Missing Manual.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2473 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (9 Feb. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0028N4W4C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #711,994 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of money 20 Jun. 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's been a long time since I've returned a book for a refund but this is going back!

I waited several months for this to become available and was expecting some cutting edge science and an interesting read. It's neither.

Nothing new at all, lots of silly optical illusions - the sort you get on email chain spam - a lot of stuff about diet but nothing new and some glaring mistakes like referring to olive oil as omega 3. Tricks for improving memory are sparse and again nothing new.

A fair bit about neurons and the brains wiring but again the book falls short with stuff you can find anywhere on the net - if you are that interested - but fails dismally to relate it to anything useful.

I love the missing manual books usually but this one I consider a dismal failure.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was good 29 Oct. 2008
Unlike the other reviewer I thought it was good. It had a very easy reading style and contained plenty of interesting material. Sure it's light-weight - not a heavy text book, but certainly engaging and worth the money.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting! 21 May 2009
A very interesting read! I learned many useful facts to help me keep my brain in tip top shape.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Brain: The Missing Manual 16 July 2008
By Randy A. Lakin - Published on
I read a lot of books on science and the human body, so I expected the usual on this book. Matthew MacDonald's book, "Your Brain, The Missing Manual" blew me away. In this book MacDonald covers the entire brain from neurons, to glands, to emotions. The book starts out covering the brains biological workings. It covers neurons, synapses, the Endocrine system and the Nervous system. Next he covers how the brain uses energy and how it gets its food. In this section MacDonald includes the Brain-Friendly Diet and explains how Protein, Fat and even Chocolate affect the brain. There is a great explanation on how the Human Appetite works. In one chapter he discusses the brain and sleep. He writes how the human brain needs light and dark to regulate the sleep cycle. In the book, MacDonald, state how sunlight or bright lights can wake you up fasters. I tried it for myself, I got out of bed early one morning and stepped outside and faced the morning sun. I was amazed at how fast my mind woke up and how clear my mind was.

The Sections on the mind's visual perception and memory were extremely interesting. I enjoyed the Optical Illusions that he included in the book. One thing I would like to point out is that MacDonald references several websites throughout the book were you can get additional information. I found this very useful and learned a lot on these websites. In addition, the section on how to improve your memory helped me significantly. There MacDonald lists several methods on how to boost your memorization powers, don't skip this section trust me.

The author goes on to cover such topics as Emotions, Reason, Personality and more. MacDonald lays all the information out in an easy to understand format. This is one of those books that you're skeptical on getting, but once you've read it you know it was well worth the purchase price. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the brain, or just wants to improve their memory. This books is a must have on every book shelf, you won't be disappointed with "Your Brain, The Missing Manual".
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't need to be a brain surgeon to understand your brain... 10 Aug. 2008
By Thomas Duff - Published on
When you think about it, the thing we think *with* is one of the biggest mysteries to us. In Your Brain: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald, you'll gain some level of understanding about how the brain works, what makes it tick, and how you can manipulate it to work better. Even better, you don't have to be a brain surgeon to understand it all.

Part 1 - Warming Up: A Lap Around the Brain; Brain Food - Healthy Eating; Sleep - Taking Your Brain Offline
Part 2 - Exploring Your Brain: Perception; Memory; Emotions; Reason; Your Personality
Part 3 - Understanding Other People's Brains: The Battle of the Sexes; The Developing Brain

The thing I appreciate most about the Missing Manual series is the way they are designed to be readable for a "normal" person. Part 1 takes you through more of the "hardware" part of the brain... what the different parts are, the roles they serve, and how they interact with each other. Couple clear writing with plenty of illustrations, and you end up with a firm foundation in Brain 101. From there, MacDonald starts digging into more of the "software" aspect of the brain, as in how are memories stored. He uses the most current studies and findings to explain what makes you, you. The items that made this exceptionally interesting to me are the examples of people who, through some abnormality in the brain, don't quite process things the same way we do. For instance, "Henry M." had his hippocampus removed in 1953 to prevent seizures. The side-effect was that he lost his ability to form long-term memories. Imagine your mind stuck in a time warp, where your last memory is as it was before your surgery. Anything presented to you since then only lasts a few minutes before you have absolutely no recollection of it. By tracking what he could and couldn't do in this state, researchers were able to draw conclusions as to what role the hippocampus played in memory. That kind of stuff is something that amazes me, and confirms the fact that we still only have a fraction of a clue as to how the mind works.

If you're at all interested about your mind, or if you're simply curious about how such things as optical illusions work, this would be a great book to read.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Be Worthwhile If You Know Nothing About The Brain 13 Jan. 2009
By Thomas J. Quinlan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Your Brain: The Missing Manual is an okay book. It seems to have gotten a lot of positive reviews, but if you're anyone who is keeping up on any sort of reading on the brain, the information contained in this book is not new. If you've not read anything on the brain before, this book might be more worthwhile to you.

Much of the practical information in Your Brain: The Missing Manual is repeated from books like Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain (a book I highly recommend). With prosaic tips like "get enough sleep" and "eat correctly", the information in this book is not particularly novel or even all that worthwhile. (Who doesn't know to do that in general, let alone that it might help your brain?)

Most of the book is devoted to how the brain interprets or comes up with various things, from perception to emotion to reason to personality. The chapter on the developing brain (chapter 10) was interesting, and the chapter on the difference between the sexes (chapter 9) picks up on the "controversial" view that men's and women's brains work differently for different things. (Duh.) I don't know whether that was because they were hoping to generate books sales or because the author thought it was really pertinent, but as with the rest of the book, it's information that's not new.
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Fun Read 19 Jun. 2008
By Dan McKinnon - Published on
'Your Brain: The Missing Manual' is a different book than most of the fare that Pogue Press puts out, but this doesn't mean that it's not a good read!

The Missing Manual line of books is simply one of the best publishers I have ever had the PLEASURE to read. I stress the word pleasure because TMM books truly are what they say they are. Incredibly laid out, easy to follow, and enjoyable to read and hold in your hand, most of The Missing Manual books I have read I give 5 stars and it's no mistake.

With 'Your Brain' this book looks at how the brain works from all different perspectives: logic, eating, aging, sex, stress, pleasure. It examines how the brain interacts with these subjects and why things work they way they do.

If you like previous Missing Manual books or are curious how the brain works, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book. Jam packed with color pictures and a small footprint with a small size of 250+ pages, this is a great weekend read that will entertain and TEACH you something as well!!

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected - recommended 6 Aug. 2008
By Harold McFarland - Published on
When I picked up this book I thought it was going to be yet another one on memory and techniques for recall. I could not have been more wrong. This is an excellent book on understanding the brain and how it works in all its wondrous details. The author delves into the physical structure, the synapses, effect of hormones on the brain and the effect that diet has on those hormones, how it interacts with your appetite and other aspects of the physical brain. Not contented to stop there he then goes into other aspects of the brain including the effect of sleep or lack thereof, perception, emotions, and personality. Your Brain: The Missing Manual is very interesting and highly recommended.
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