Welcome to Your Brain Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Behavior

Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt

Bloomsbury USA




256 Pages



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In their book, Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang dispel common myths about the brain and provide a comprehensive, useful overview of how it really works. They apply practical neuroscience to everyday life, explaining jet lag, how the brain affects an individual's religion, and how men's and women's brains differ. With accessible prose enhanced by charts, trivia, quizzes, and illustrations, this book is great for reference or extended reading.


Praise for Welcome to Your Brain

"Welcome to Your Brain is a delightful and engaging romp through neuroscience by two of its leading lights—a marvelous collection of facts and findings that answer the questions we all have about our own minds. If the human brain came with an owner's manual, it might well look like this."—Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

"Welcome To Your Brain is a lucid and fascinating journey into the inner life of the mind, an essential manual for one of nature's most amazing technologies. You'll never think about yourself—or think about thinking—quite the same way again."—Steven Johnson, author of Mind Wide Open and The Ghost Map

"People need to know how the brain works. How else can you competently serve on a jury, or vote for what the government should spend money on, or decide what to make of your child having trouble learning to read? But here's the problem: lots of people find science difficult. Welcome to Your Brain is a great solution. Written by two top neuroscientists, it's great on the facts—accurate, up to date, focuses on all the important topics—and it's crystal clear and witty and irreverent and wonderfully written. This is a terrific book."—Robert Sapolsky, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

"If all scientists could write like this, professional science writers would be out of a job. Welcome to Your Brain is clear, understandable, entertaining and fascinating. A description of how, in a noisy room, to hear a caller on your cell phone is just one of the many good reasons to buy this book."—Sandra Blakeslee, co-author, The Body Has a Mind of its Own

"[The authors] explain how the human brain—with its 100 billion neurons—processes sensory and cognitive information, regulates our emotional life and forms memories. They also examine how human brains differ from those of other mammals and show what happens to us during dreams. They also tackle such potentially controversial topics as whether men and women have different brains (yes, though what that means in terms of capabilities and behavior, they say, is up in the air) and whether intelligence is shaped more by genes or environment (genes set an upper limit on people's intelligence, but the environment before birth and during childhood determines whether they reach their full genetic potential). Distinguishing their book are sidebars that explode myths—no, we do not use only 10% of our brain's potential but nearly all of it—and provide advice on subjects like protecting your brain as you get older . . . this is a terrific, surprisingly fun guide."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt

  • Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., is the editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, the leading scientific journal in the field of brain research. Before becoming an editor, she did her graduate work at the University of Rochester and was a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at Yale University. She lives in California with her husband, a professor of neuroscience.

    Sam Wang, Ph.D., is an associate professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. Before becoming a professor, he studied at Caltech, Stanford, and Bell Labs. He has published fifty articles on the brain in leading scientific journals and has received numerous awards. He and his wife, a physician, live in Princeton, New Jersey, with their daughter.