An Interesting and Helpful Book

I apologize for this long overdue book review of Brain: the Complete Mind, How It Develops, How it Works, and How to Keep It Sharp by Michael S. Sweeney. It is published by National Geographic. The following is from the foreword by Richard Restak: “…here is the most inspiring of insights about the brain: We can enhance our brain’s performance by our own efforts. Thus learning about the brain provides a wonderful mix of instruction, amazement, and self-improvement. As you gain knowledge, you’re in a better position to improve its functioning and thereby increase the quality of your life.” So I think that this book should be of interest to anyone following the Healthymemory Blog.

To give you an idea of the breadth of topics, here is a rundown of the chapter titles:

The Amazing Brain

The Nervous System

Brain Development

The Senses


States of Mind

The Feeling Brain

Learning and Memory

The Aging Brain

Future of the Brain

Each chapter is divided into subsections. Each chapter has a glossary that defines key concepts within each chapter. There are diagrams showing the inner workings of the brain, its processes, and functions. There are fast facts that present bits of information that are not only informative but which you can pass on when you’re speaking. There are tables, fact boxes, and cross references. There are sidebars explaining what can go wrong. Flow charts illustrate processes and functions. There are Breakthrough Sidebars that describe the amazing discoveries that deepen our understanding of the brain. This is another source for interesting conversation. There are history sidebars that tell the stories behind historical neuroscience beliefs and practices and the men and women who shaped them. And there are Staying Sharp Sidebars that document smart practices and strategic tactics for keeping the brain healthy. These should be of special interest to readers of the Healthymemory Blog.


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