Book Talk: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

“ An excellent education in brain science…[Feldman Barrett] deftly employs metaphor and anecdote to deliver an insightful overview of her favorite subject… so short and sweet that most readers will continue to the 35-page appendix, in which the author delves more deeply, but with no less clarity, into topics ranging from teleology to the Myers-Briggs personality test to ‘Plato’s writings about the human psyche.’ Outstanding popular science. "

Kirkus

About the Book

From the author of How Emotions Are Made, a captivating collection of short essays about your brain, in the tradition of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics.

Have you ever wondered why you have a brain? Let renowned neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett demystify that big gray blob between your ears. In seven short essays (plus a bite-sized story about how brains evolved), this slim, entertaining, and accessible collection reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research.

You'll learn where brains came from, how they're structured (and why it matters), and how yours works in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. Along the way, you'll also learn to dismiss popular myths such as the idea of a "lizard brain" and the alleged battle between thoughts and emotions, or even between nature and nurture, to determine your behavior.

Sure to intrigue casual readers and scientific veterans alike, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain is full of surprises, humor, and important implications for human nature--a gift of a book that you will want to savor again and again.

Reviews & What Readers Say

“ Beautiful writing and sublime insights that will blow your mind like a string of firecrackers. If you want a rundown of the brain and its magic, start here."

David Eagleman, Stanford neuroscientist, New York Times bestselling author of Incognito and Livewired

“ Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain reads like a novel—one whose main character is all of us. In fresh and lively prose, Barrett provides deep insight into what brains are for, how they operate and are programmed, how they create the ‘reality’ we experience, and how they ultimately produce our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Read this book! It will make you smarter about yourself, and your species."

Leonard Mlodinow, New York Times bestselling author of The Drunkard’s Walk, Subliminal, and Elastic

“ A radical and provocative look at a range of pervasive misconceptions, emerging discoveries, and enticing mysteries regarding our very nature as individuals and intertwined social beings. By illuminating our unimaginably complex, constantly changing brain/body networks, Barrett gets to the heart of the new understanding of who and what we are as creatures, and how much latitude and agency we have."

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), author of Full Catastrophe Living and The Healing Power of Mindfulness

“ Lisa Feldman Barrett is a pioneer in neuroscience and one of today’s most provocative thinkers about the mind. Get ready to have yours blown."

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

192 pages

ISBN 978-0358157144

Note: Now available. Click here

Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D. is among the top 1% most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. She is a University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University with appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Barrett was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in neuroscience in 2019, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. She lives in Boston.

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