The human body is not just a passive device carrying out messages sent by the brain, but rather an integral part of how we think and make decisions. Read more...
The human body is not just a passive device carrying out messages sent by the brain, but rather an integral part of how we think and make decisions. In her groundbreaking new book, Sian Beilock, author of the highly acclaimed Choke, which Time magazine praised for its "smart tips...in order to think clearly...and be cool under pressure," draws on her own cutting-edge research to turn the conventional understanding of the mind upside down in ways that will revolutionize how we live our lives.
At the heart of How the Body Knows Its Mind is the tantalizing idea that our bodies "hack" our brains. The way we move affects our thoughts, our decisions, and even our preferences for particular products. Called "embodied cognition," this new science--of which Beilock is a foremost researcher--illuminates the power of the body and its physical surroundings to shape how we think, feel, and behave. Beilock's findings are as varied as they are surprising. For example, pacing around the room can enhance creativity; gesturing during a speech can help ensure that you don't draw a blank; kids learn better when their bodies are part of the learning process; walking in nature boosts concentration skills; Botox users experience less depression; and much more. From the tricks used by advertisers to the ways body language can improve your memory, Beilock explains a wealth of fascinating interconnections between mind and body and how mastering them can make us happier, safer, and more successful.
- ISBN-13: 9781451626681
- ISBN-10: 1451626681
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Publish Date: January 2015
- Page Count: 288
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Though the brain is the organ most commonly associated with thinking, psychologist Beilock (Choke) makes a fairly fresh case about the rest of the body’s contribution to the process. The book begins with the premise that the body’s interaction with its physical surroundings affects cognition, and Beilock goes on to show how the body can be used to manipulate everyday perceptions. She builds her argument with a variety of anecdotes and cultural references. Often these examples flip conventional wisdom to highlight the influence of our body on thought. For example, she connects the correlation between musical ability and IQ to finger dexterity. While her explanations are thought provoking, they rely on varying conceptions of the term “body,” weakening the central argument and making it hard to follow. It’s unlikely that readers will come away with a new understanding of cognition, but Beilock does offer an unconventional perspective that will, at the very least, stimulate the mind. Agent: Wendy Strothman, Strothman Agency. (Jan.)