Mind Hacks Tips and Tools for Using Your Brain

ISBN-10: 0596007795
ISBN-13: 9780596007799
Edition: 2004
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $2.22
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/2/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 394
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

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 YourHandedness 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.

Tom Stafford has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and is currently a research associate in the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield. He is also an associate editor of the Psychologist magazine and has previously worked as a freelance writer and researcher for the BBC.

Matt Webb's background is in new media. His freelance activities include an IM interface to Google, which predated the Google API and is included in O Reilly s Google Hacks. He launched a project to find the Web's favorite color that was featured on BBC News Online and national newspapers in the UK. His current job in R&D at the BBC involves these kinds of projects internally, and gives him experience at addressing abstract social and technological ideas to mixed audiences. He was a popular speaker at O Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference in 2004.

Foreword
Credits
Preface
Inside the Brain
Find Out How the Brain Works Without Looking Inside
Electroencephalogram: Getting the Big Picture with EEGs
Positron Emission Tomography: Measuring Activity Indirectly with PET
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: The State of the Art
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Turn On and Off Bits of the Brain
Neuropsychology, the 10% Myth, and Why You Use All of Your Brain
Get Acquainted with the Central Nervous System
Tour the Cortex and the Four Lobes
The Neuron
Detect the Effect of Cognitive Function on Cerebral Blood Flow
Why People Don't Work Like Elevator Buttons
Build Your Own Sensory Homunculus
Seeing
Understand Visual Processing
See the Limits of Your Vision
To See, Act
Map Your Blind Spot
Glimpse the Gaps in Your Vision
When Time Stands Still
Release Eye Fixations for Faster Reactions
Fool Yourself into Seeing 3D
Objects Move, Lighting Shouldn't
Depth Matters
See How Brightness Differs from Luminance: The Checker Shadow Illusion
Create Illusionary Depth with Sunglasses
See Movement When All Is Still
Get Adjusted
Show Motion Without Anything Moving
Motion Extrapolation: The "Flash-Lag Effect"
Turn Gliding Blocks into Stepping Feet
Understand the Rotating Snakes Illusion
Minimize Imaginary Distances
Explore Your Defense Hardware
Neural Noise Isn't a Bug; It's a Feature
Attention
Detail and the Limits of Attention
Count Faster with Subitizing
Feel the Presence and Loss of Attention
Grab Attention
Don't Look Back!
Avoid Holes in Attention
Blind to Change
Make Things Invisible Simply by Concentrating (on Something Else)
The Brain Punishes Features that Cry Wolf
Improve Visual Attention Through Video Games
Hearing and Language
Detect Timing with Your Ears
Detect Sound Direction
Discover Pitch
Keep Your Balance
Detect Sounds on the Margins of Certainty
Speech Is Broadband Input to Your Head
Give Big-Sounding Words to Big Concepts
Stop Memory-Buffer Overrun While Reading
Robust Processing Using Parallelism
Integrating
Put Timing Information into Sound and Location Information into Light
Don't Divide Attention Across Locations
Confuse Color Identification with Mixed Signals
Don't Go There
Combine Modalities to Increase Intensity
Watch Yourself to Feel More
Hear with Your Eyes: The McGurk Effect
Pay Attention to Thrown Voices
Talk to Yourself
Moving
The Broken Escalator Phenomenon: When Autopilot Takes Over
Keep Hold of Yourself
Mold Your Body Schema
Why Can't You Tickle Yourself?
Trick Half Your Mind
Objects Ask to Be Used
Test Your Handedness
Use Your Right Brain-and Your Left, Too
Reasoning
Use Numbers Carefully
Think About Frequencies Rather than Probabilities
Detect Cheaters
Fool Others into Feeling Better
Maintain the Status Quo
Togetherness
Grasp the Gestalt
To Be Noticed, Synchronize in Time
See a Person in Moving Lights
Make Things Come Alive
Make Events Understandable as Cause and Effect
Act Without Knowing It
Remembering
Bring Stuff to the Front of Your Mind
Subliminal Messages Are Weak and Simple
Fake Familiarity
Keep Your Sources Straight (if You Can)
Create False Memories
Change Context to Build Robust Memories
Boost Memory Using Context
Think Yourself Strong
Navigate Your Way Through Memory
Have an Out-of-Body Experience
Enter the Twilight Zone: The Hypnagogic State
Make the Caffeine Habit Taste Good
Other People
Understand What Makes Faces Special
Signal Emotion
Make Yourself Happy
Reminisce Hot and Cold
Look Where I'm Looking
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Spread a Bad Mood Around
You Are What You Think
Index

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