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Mind Hacks : Tips and Tricks for Using Your Brain - Tom Stafford

Mind Hacks

Tips and Tricks for Using Your Brain


Published: 7th December 2004
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Published: 5th March 2010
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The brain is a fearsomely complex information-processing environment--one that often eludes our ability to understand it. At any given time, the brain is collecting, filtering, and analyzing information and, in response, performing countless intricate processes, some of which are automatic, some voluntary, some conscious, and some unconscious.

Cognitive neuroscience is one of the ways we have to understand the workings of our minds. It's the study of the brain biology behind our mental functions: a collection of methods--like brain scanning and computational modeling--combined with a way of looking at psychological phenomena and discovering where, why, and how the brain makes them happen.

Want to know more? "Mind Hacks" is a collection of probes into the moment-by-moment works of the brain. Using cognitive neuroscience, these experiments, tricks, and tips related to vision, motor skills, attention, cognition, subliminal perception, and more throw light on how the human brain works. Each hack examines specific operations of the brain. By seeing how the brain responds, we pick up clues about the architecture and design of the brain, learning a little bit more about how the brain is put together.

"Mind Hacks" begins your exploration of the mind with a look inside the brain itself, using hacks such as "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Turn On and Off Bits of the Brain" and "Tour the Cortex and the Four Lobes." Also among the 100 hacks in this book, you'll find: Release Eye Fixations for Faster Reactions See Movement When All is Still Feel the Presence and Loss of Attention Detect Sounds on the Margins of Certainty Mold Your Body Schema Test Your Handedness See a Person in Moving Lights Make Events Understandable as Cause-and-Effect Boost Memory by Using Context Understand Detail and the Limits of Attention Steven Johnson, author of "Mind Wide Open" writes in his foreword to the book, "These hacks amaze because they reveal the brain's hidden logic; they shed light on the cheats and shortcuts and latent assumptions our brains make about the world." If you want to know more about what's going on in your head, then "Mind Hacks" is the key--let yourself play with the interface between you and the world.

The authors have compiled a fascinating ?collection of probes into the moment-by-moment works of the brain?. From getting to know the structure of your brain to learning how we see, hear and recall events, Mind Hacks allows you to test the theories of neuroscience on your own grey matter. If you?ve always wanted to get closer to your cerebellum but never plucked up the courage to take that DIY neurosurgery course, this is the book for you.? ? PD Smith, The Guardian, 15 Jan 2005

Forewordp. xi
Creditsp. xiii
Prefacep. xix
Inside the Brainp. 1
Find Out How the Brain Works Without Looking Insidep. 2
Electroencephalogram: Getting the Big Picture with EEGsp. 5
Positron Emission Tomography: Measuring Activity Indirectly with PETp. 6
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: The State of the Artp. 7
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Turn On and Off Bits of the Brainp. 8
Neuropsychology, the 10% Myth, and Why You Use All of Your Brainp. 9
Get Acquainted with the Central Nervous Systemp. 13
Tour the Cortex and the Four Lobesp. 16
The Neuronp. 19
Detect the Effect of Cognitive Function on Cerebral Blood Flowp. 22
Why People Don't Work Like Elevator Buttonsp. 24
Build Your Own Sensory Homunculusp. 27
Seeingp. 32
Understand Visual Processingp. 32
See the Limits of Your Visionp. 38
To See, Actp. 42
Map Your Blind Spotp. 46
Glimpse the Gaps in Your Visionp. 50
When Time Stands Stillp. 52
Release Eye Fixations for Faster Reactionsp. 55
Fool Yourself into Seeing 3Dp. 57
Objects Move, Lighting Shouldn'tp. 62
Depth Mattersp. 66
See How Brightness Differs from Luminance: The Checker Shadow Illusionp. 72
Create Illusionary Depth with Sunglassesp. 76
See Movement When All Is Stillp. 80
Get Adjustedp. 83
Show Motion Without Anything Movingp. 86
Motion Extrapolation: The "Flash-Lag Effect"p. 90
Turn Gliding Blocks into Stepping Feetp. 93
Understand the Rotating Snakes Illusionp. 95
Minimize Imaginary Distancesp. 101
Explore Your Defense Hardwarep. 106
Neural Noise Isn't a Bug; It's a Featurep. 108
Attentionp. 111
Detail and the Limits of Attentionp. 112
Count Faster with Subitizingp. 115
Feel the Presence and Loss of Attentionp. 117
Grab Attentionp. 123
Don't Look Back!p. 126
Avoid Holes in Attentionp. 129
Blind to Changep. 134
Make Things Invisible Simply by Concentrating (on Something Else)p. 137
The Brain Punishes Features that Cry Wolfp. 139
Improve Visual Attention Through Video Gamesp. 143
Hearing and Languagep. 147
Detect Timing with Your Earsp. 148
Detect Sound Directionp. 150
Discover Pitchp. 154
Keep Your Balancep. 156
Detect Sounds on the Margins of Certaintyp. 158
Speech Is Broadband Input to Your Headp. 160
Give Big-Sounding Words to Big Conceptsp. 162
Stop Memory-Buffer Overrun While Readingp. 165
Robust Processing Using Parallelismp. 169
Integratingp. 173
Put Timing Information into Sound and Location Information into Lightp. 173
Don't Divide Attention Across Locationsp. 176
Confuse Color Identification with Mixed Signalsp. 179
Don't Go Therep. 182
Combine Modalities to Increase Intensityp. 186
Watch Yourself to Feel Morep. 188
Hear with Your Eyes: The McGurk Effectp. 190
Pay Attention to Thrown Voicesp. 193
Talk to Yourselfp. 195
Movingp. 200
The Broken Escalator Phenomenon: When Autopilot Takes Overp. 200
Keep Hold of Yourselfp. 203
Mold Your Body Schemap. 207
Why Can't You Tickle Yourself?p. 210
Trick Half Your Mindp. 215
Objects Ask to Be Usedp. 218
Test Your Handednessp. 221
Use Your Right Brain-and Your Left, Toop. 226
Reasoningp. 231
Use Numbers Carefullyp. 231
Think About Frequencies Rather than Probabilitiesp. 234
Detect Cheatersp. 239
Fool Others into Feeling Betterp. 242
Maintain the Status Quop. 246
Togethernessp. 251
Grasp the Gestaltp. 252
To Be Noticed, Synchronize in Timep. 254
See a Person in Moving Lightsp. 258
Make Things Come Alivep. 262
Make Events Understandable as Cause and Effectp. 265
Act Without Knowing Itp. 269
Rememberingp. 273
Bring Stuff to the Front of Your Mindp. 274
Subliminal Messages Are Weak and Simplep. 277
Fake Familiarityp. 279
Keep Your Sources Straight (if You Can)p. 283
Create False Memoriesp. 287
Change Context to Build Robust Memoriesp. 292
Boost Memory Using Contextp. 295
Think Yourself Strongp. 298
Navigate Your Way Through Memoryp. 302
Have an Out-of-Body Experiencep. 306
Enter the Twilight Zone: The Hypnagogic Statep. 308
Make the Caffeine Habit Taste Goodp. 311
Other Peoplep. 316
Understand What Makes Faces Specialp. 317
Signal Emotionp. 320
Make Yourself Happyp. 325
Reminisce Hot and Coldp. 327
Look Where I'm Lookingp. 331
Monkey See, Monkey Dop. 335
Spread a Bad Mood Aroundp. 338
You Are What You Thinkp. 342
Indexp. 345
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780596007799
ISBN-10: 0596007795
Series: Hacks
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 394
Published: 7th December 2004
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc, USA
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.53