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Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power Hardcover – 26 Dec 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press (26 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594631271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631276
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,672,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""Smarter" is an essential read. It's a riveting look at the birth of a new science as well as a user's manual for anyone who wants to be better at solving problems, learning new things, and coming up with creative ideas."
--Daniel H. Pink, author of "Drive" and A "Whole New Mind"
"A clear-eyed but encouraging view of cognitive enhancement."
--"Scientific American MIND"
"Chatty and personal, "Smarter "is an easy read--even for those of us with untrained brains."
--"The Washington Post"
"Hurley captures the history and mystery of intelligence, but, most of all, the exciting new science of intellectual growth. This may be the most important revolution of our time!"
--Carol Dweck, Author of "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"
"Dan Hurley isolates just what cognitive exercise boosts intelligence. Anyone who doubts that environment can make a real difference to cognition should start with this book."
--James R. Flynn author of "What is Intelligence"
"Filled with beautifully explained science, Smarter is engaging and inspiring, offering much-needed hope to those of us whose smarts seem to be declining. Smarter, in fact, is that rare thing: enjoyable reading that can also improve your life."
--Gretchen Reynolds, author of "The First 20 Minutes"

""Smarter"is an essential read. It's a riveting look at the birth of a new science as well as a user s manual for anyone who wants to be better at solving problems, learning new things, and coming up with creative ideas."
Daniel H. Pink, author of "Drive" and A "Whole New Mind"
"A clear-eyed but encouraging view of cognitive enhancement."
"Scientific American MIND"
"Chatty and personal, "Smarter "is an easy read even for those of us with untrained brains."
"The Washington Post"
Hurley captures the history and mystery of intelligence, but, most of all, the exciting new science of intellectual growth. This may be the most important revolution of our time!
Carol Dweck, Author of "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success"
"Dan Hurley isolates just what cognitive exercise boosts intelligence. Anyone who doubts that environment can make a real difference to cognition should start with this book."
James R. Flynn author of "What is Intelligence"
Filled with beautifully explained science, Smarter is engaging and inspiring, offering much-needed hope to those of us whose smarts seem to be declining. Smarter, in fact, is that rare thing: enjoyable reading that can also improve your life.
Gretchen Reynolds, author of "The First 20 Minutes"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dan Hurley is a science writer and journalist. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A classic example of how to spin out a handful of really good ideas into a whole book, thereby diluting them and wasting readers' time and money. The basic premise is that inteligence is not fixed and you can train your brain just as you can do with your body in a gym. So far so good. Hurley gives us a bunch of things to do that may help boost fluid intelligence. Things like exercise (especially where you can track and improve your performance), N-back working memory training games, learning a musical instrument, drink coffee, use nicotine patches. Also he made himself a human guinea pig by testing his iQ before and after this training. All great stuff - but would only fill a couple of chapters. So how to pad out the book? Well he just did tons of interviews with various fueding academics in the field and jouranlistically threw in their quotes everywhere and dramatised their spats - for chapter after chapter. If you have the paperback book you can get full value from skimming through it - this was a bit harder on the Kindle edition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The good: provides a nice introduction and summary of the emerging academic fields of brain training. the author is engaged but sufficiently sceptical of the claims and evidence.

The bad: trying to force this material into a "journey" narrative format leads to it switching to a more narrative form in places, which can be useful for getting the social texture of academic and commercial research but also invites navel gazing and padding.

The good: revealed some behind the scenes discussions between academics, some of which were surprising (for example, research on the cognitive effects on nicotine).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hoping for a book that would really help me to get smarter. It started well by describing some of the available ways/products to use but then went into 100`s of pages of research evidence that simply bored the pants off me. This is not a book written to make you smarter but more a indication of where research stands regarding the issue of memory/intelligence. Waste of money for me !
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Format: Hardcover
With rare exception, the best works of non-fiction provide a journey of discovery for their reader and that is certainly true of this one, together with the significant value-added benefit that those who read it accompany Dan Hurley on his own journey of discovery as he attempts to determine whether or not he or anyone else is smart enough to make himself smarter. As he explains, he met with more than 200 eminent scientists and other experts on brain training and road-tested many of the methods on himself. He was his own guinea pig while learning to play the Renaissance lute, joining an intense "boot camp" mental exercise class, attempting mindfulness meditation, and even undergoing transcranial direct-current stimulation ("Jumper Cables for the Mind"). He shares what he learned in this book.

For example:

o Although results vary between and among those who receive mental training, it really can help almost anyone can become smarter.

o Some of these programs are more scientific than others in terms of design, instruction, and measurement.

o Becoming smarter does not necessarily mean becoming wiser.

o Mental training as a science is less than ten years old, in its infancy, and so much more needs to be learned about how it can help make people smarter about becoming smarter.

o One of the most valuable -- and most exciting -- areas of research to explore consists of ways to train certain functions for those who belief in plasticity, "which is really indisputable at this point."

When reflecting back on his journey of discovery, Dan Hurley observes, "If intelligence is calculated by what we do, you hold in your hands the single best measure of mine. My days of training were filled purposeful, challenging tasks of all kinds...
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Format: Hardcover
The knee-jerk reaction on seeing this book was ‘it’s going to be rubbish’, as it is widely publicised that most commercial ‘brain training’ products have no more value than any activity that keeps the mind active, from reading a book to chatting to a next-door neighbour. And while an active mind is valuable in keeping alert in old age, it gives no advantages in terms of ‘brain power’ whether you consider that as IQ or something a bit more subtle.

In fact, I needn’t have worried, because Dan Hurley is aware of this, and is approaching a very specific aspect of training, using an intense methodology, which has shown some interesting results in proper scientific testing.

Along the way, he decides to see if he can enhance his own brain, so takes a MENSA test, then engages in as many brain enhancing activities as he can before being re-tested – from physical exercise to a nicotine patch – which have been shown to have some benefit in mental acuity. Perhaps the most interesting bit of the book is where he assesses all the different possibilities, dismissing some (eating the right thing, apart from drinking coffee, for instance) and taking others on board, all based on our best current science.

Another favourite is the final section, where we see played out a significant battle between academics, some sticking to the traditional argument that all training does is train you to be better at that particular test, some open to a wide range of possibilities. It’s interesting, apart from anything else, to show just how different theories are sometimes handled in the academic community.
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