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How Much Brain Do We Really Need?

Jennifer Barnett, Alexis Willett

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Psychology, Neurology & clinical neurophysiology, Popular science

Your brain is shrinking. Does it matter?

HOW MUCH BRAIN DO WE REALLY NEED? challenges us to think differently about the brain. Rather than just concentrating on the many wonderful things it can do, this entertaining insight into the complexities and contradictions of the human brain asks whether in fact we can live satisfactorily without some of it.

The bad news is that our brains start to shrink from our mid-thirties. But the good news is that we still seem to generally muddle along and our brain is able to adapt in extraordinary ways when things going wrong.

Alexis Willett and Jennifer Barnett shed light on what the human brain can do - in both optimal and suboptimal conditions - and consider what it can manage without. Through fascinating facts and figures, case studies and hypothetical scenarios, expert interviews and scientific principles, they take us on a journey from the ancient mists of time to the far reaches of the future, via different species and lands.

Is brain training the key to healthy ageing? Do women really experience 'baby brain'? Is our brain at its evolutionary peak or do we have an even more brilliant future to look forward to? We discover the answers to these questions and more.

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