Using herself as a guinea pig, a science journalist explores "neuroplasticity" to find out whether she can make meaningful, lasting changes to the way her brain works.
In books like THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, THE NO-SPEND YEAR, and THE YEAR OF YES, individuals have tried a specific experience and then reported on it, sharing the takeaway for the rest of us. In MY PLASTIC BRAIN, Caroline Williams spends a year exploring "neuroplasticity"the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connectionsto find out whether she can make meaningful, lasting changes to the way her brain works.
A science journalist with access to cutting edge experts and facilities, she volunteers herself as a test subject, challenging researchers to make real changes to the function and performance of her brain. She seeks to improve on everyday weaknesses such as her limited attention span and tendency to worry too much. She then branches out into more mysterious areas such as creativity and the perception of time.
From Boston to Oxford, England, and Philadelphia to Freiburg, Germany, Williams travels to labs or virtually meets with scientists and tries their techniques of mindfulness meditation, magnetic brain stimulation, sustained focus exercises, stress response retraining, and more. She shares her intimate journey with readers to discover what neuroscience can really do for us.
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About the Author
Caroline Williams is a freelance science writer and editor and a consultant to New Scientist magazine. She also writes for the BBC and has contributed to the Guardian newspaper among other outlets. She is the editor of the New Scientist Instant Expert guides How Your Brain Works: Inside the Most Complicated Object in the Known Universe and Your Conscious Mind: Unravelling the Greatest Mystery of the Human Brain. She has also coproduced and presented the New Scientist podcast, web, and promotional videos.
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From the Introduction
Excerpted from "My Plastic Brain"
Copyright © 2018 Caroline Williams.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
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Table of Contents
Author's Note 9
Part 1 Meetings With My Executive Controller
1 The Taming of the Butterfly 45
2 Anxious All Areas 75
3 Let the Creativity Flow 111
Part 2 Space And Time
4 Lost in Space 139
5 Mind-Bending, Time-Bending 173
Part 3 A Logical Mind
6 Number Sense Lost 201
Part 4 What Now?
7 My Brain on Override 225
8 The Road from Here 251