ALPHABETICAL BRAIN® VOCABULARY
OF SECULAR SCIENCE STARS
April 14, 2022
How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives
by Dean Buonomano.
W. W. Norton, 2011
Quote = "While the intelligence of humans continues to evolve, our brains remain far from perfect, exemplified by unreliable memory manipulated by advertising, distrust of people different from us, and belief in superstitions and the supernatural. In explaining these 'bugs,' Dean Buonomono delves deep into the fascinating realm of the brain's innermost workings, using the identifiable metaphor of computer hardware and software."
"The focus on lay language helps to connect listeners with the author's research, which suggests that human successes, failures, joys, and sufferings are the product of protein interactions and electrical changes taking place inside the brain." (From Library Journal Review by Dale Farris, Groves, TX)
note = Numbers in parentheses refer to pages
1) THE MEMORY WEB (19-46)
 Semantic memory (21-23)
2) MEMORY UPGRADE NEEDED (47-69)
 Associative architecture (23-27)
 Making connections (28-33)
 Priming — Getting in the mood (33-35)
 Memory Bugs (35-38)
 Implicit associations (38-43)
 Primimg behavior (43-46)
3) BRAIN CRASHES (70-93)
4) TEMPORAL DISTORTIONS (94-119)
5) FEAR FACTOR (120-141)
6) UNREASONABLE REASONING (142-170)
7) THE ADVERTISING BUG (171-196)
8) THE SUPERNATURAL BUG (197-219)
9) DEBUGGING (220-235)
NOTES TO PAGES (241-262)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, SUMMARY,
AND BOOK DESCRIPTION
ABOUT THE AUTHOR = Dean Buonomano is a professor of neurobiology and psychology at UCLA and a leading theorist on the neuroscience of time.
SUMMARY = Neuroscientist Dean Buonomano illuminates the causes and consequences of the brain's imperfections in terms of its innermost workings and its evolutionary purposes. He then examines how our brains function — and malfunction — in the digital, predator-free, information-saturated, special-effects-addled world we have built for ourselves.
BOOK DESCRIPTION = The human brain may be the best piece of technology ever created, but it is far from perfect. Drawing on colorful examples and surprising research, neuroscientist Dean Buonomano exposes the blind spots and weaknesses that beset our brains and lead us to make misguided personal, professional, and financial decisions. Whether explaining why we are susceptible to advertisements or demonstrating how false memories are formed, Brain Bugs not only explains the brain's inherent flaws but also gives us the tools to counteract them. The book was a Wall Street Journal bestseller
EDITORIAL BOOK REVIEWS
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY REVIEW = Audiobook review: Neurobiology professor Buonomano examines the functioning-and rather frequent malfunctioning-of the human brain, outlining the surprising ways the mind's nodes, neurons, and synapses allow human beings to process, sort, remember, forget, and even ignore information. Intriguingly, narrator William Hughes is also a professor (of political science at Southern Oregon University) and brings some of that classroom experience to his compelling reading, verbally underscoring key phrases and definitions, pausing meaningfully between sections, and pacing himself like a college lecturer. The audiobook also includes a bonus disc of illustrations and extras.
LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW = UCLA neurobiology and psychology professor Buonomano presents an interesting study of how and why our brains sometimes fail when we try to remember long lists of information, add large numbers, or make long-term decisions. While the intelligence of humans continues to evolve, our brains remain far from perfect, exemplified by unreliable memory manipulated by advertising, distrust of people different from us, and belief in superstitions and the supernatural. In explaining these "bugs," the author delves deep into the fascinating realm of the brain's innermost workings, using the identifiable metaphor of computer hardware and software. The focus on lay language helps to connect listeners with the author's research, which suggests that human successes, failures, joys, and sufferings are the product of protein interactions and electrical changes taking place inside the brain. Buonomano's heavily researched, highly specialized work is well read by Southern Oregon University political science professor William Hughes. While this title is best suited to students and faculty in clinical neuroscience fields, Buonomano still manages to make highly sophisticated brain research understandable to lay audiences interested in human behavior. [Includes a PDF of diagrams and illustrations from the text.-Ed.] – Dale Farris, Groves, TX.
AMAZON BOOK REVIEWERS
 Kindle customer - This book will change your life = This book is well written, so much so, that if non-fiction could be a page turner, this is it. I use the information of how the original architecture of our brain leads us astray on rational thinking on a daily basis. On which brain flaw is how we choose what immediately looks good, rather than the better long term solution. If we do not delay the initial thought, we can loose out on the better option. So many more... all the points have served me well and is a regular part of my conversation with my best friends.
 A. D. Thibeault - A Brief Summary and Review = A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.
The main argument: As much as we rely on our brains to navigate the complex world before us, anyone who has ever forgotten someone's name, or misread a situation, or made a poor decision in the heat of the moment knows that the brain does not always work as we would want. In his new book `Brain Bugs', neurobiologist Dean Buonomano explores the brain's many pitfalls and mistakes (and how and why it makes them), and also offers up some advice on how we can best manage these so called `brain bugs' in our everyday lives.
Buonomano identifies 3 major sources whence brain bugs originate. The first has to do with the fact that our brains are the product of evolution, and have evolved as they have to answer the specific challenges that we faced in our evolutionary history; therefore, while our brains may be well adapted to perform functions that were particularly important in our survival and reproduction in the environment in which our species evolved, they may not do as well at functions which, though handy, did not figure as prominently in our evolutionary past (remembering names seems to fall under this category).
The second source of our brain bugs may be attributed to the fact that while evolution has brought us a host of useful mental abilities that have allowed us to survive and thrive, it is still a rather clumsy process, and as such does not always offer up perfect, or even optimal solutions; thus the mental systems that we have are sometimes prone to error and quirky behaviour (hence optical illusions, the ever raging and somewhat awkward battle between our reason and our impulses, and a number of other interesting effects).
Finally, the third source of our brain bugs stems from the fact that while many of the brain systems that we have inherited were well adapted to the environment in which our species evolved, this environment has changed considerably in the recent past, to the point where some of the adaptations themselves may be ineffective and even counter-productive today (our craving of sugary, fatty foods, for instance, would have been very useful in the environment in which we evolved --- where starvation was much more of a threat than heart disease, but can be positively disastrous in the modern world, where the opposite is more often the case). A full executive summary of the book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.
 Boofus D - A fascinating book = I read this book over a month ago and I have not yet stopped thinking about it. It is a fascinating account of how the brain learns and associates ideas. The brain is continually manipulating data in order to make that data fit the brain's template of the world. This book redefined my opinion of what it means to learn.
The author uses the metaphor of a computer program to explain the hierarchy of the brain. The conscious brain acts as the main program, while the various facets of the unconscious brain are subroutines, which are called as required by the main. What an excellent metaphor.
The book contains several very good examples of brain "flaws" which the reader can perform. These demonstrations are entertaining and enlightening. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys playing with ideas.
You Are Your Adaptable Memory!
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