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How our brain’s flaws shape our lives

Aug 11, 2011

The brain is not a machine. We forget things, we are susceptible to false advertising, false memories, propaganda and irrational beliefs. Though it’s the control center for the whole body and the mind, the brain is amazingly flawed. In his new book Brain Bugs, neuroscientist Dr. Dean Buonomano explores these flaws, which he calls brain bugs and examines how these blind spots and imperfections lead us to make misguided personal, professional and financial decisions. Dr. Buonomano takes us from the well-trodden terrain of memory to the frontiers of understanding how the brain processes fear, susceptibility to marketing, and religious belief. “Brain Bugs” explores the causes and consequences of these flaws in terms of the brain's innermost workings and their evolutionary purposes and Buonomano provides insights into how we can exploit the brain’s natural strengths while downplaying its inherent weaknesses. Will exploring the brain's flaws give us the tools to compensate for them? Do the brain’s bugs give us a reproductive edge? Which brain bugs bother you the most and which ones actually serve to make you more creative and resourceful?

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