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  • John Murray
  • John Murray

Physical Intelligence: The Science of Thinking Without Thinking

Scott Grafton

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Popular science, Neurosciences, Popular psychology, Walking, hiking, trekking

Renowned neuroscientist combines his own gripping stories of survival in the wild, 15 years as a GP and his ground-breaking research in the University of California's 'Action Lab' to explain powerful connections between mind and body that help us be the very best we can be.

What is it that stops us from walking into walls or off cliffs?
How do you pick the right moment to cross a busy road
Or decide if you can drive through a storm?
What helps you discover a shortcut to a familiar route?


Sometimes, you need to do it to know it. Your hands have to be on the steering wheel to learn the feel of slipping tyres. You need to be watching the traffic to judge the best moment to cross the road. Everything we do, from changing a lightbulb to navigating unknown terrain relies on physical intelligence, our oldest and most important form of cognition.

Physical intelligence was the key development in human evolution; thinking evolved first and foremost so we could do things. It has been the key to our survival against all the odds for so long that it has become instinctive, and continues to underpin our every action, from the ordinary (walking down a street) to the extraordinary (winning a race) and beyond.

Renowned neuroscientist, doctor and keen climber, Scott Grafton was fascinated to discover how physical intelligence's most important components were laid bare, away from civilisation. In this book he takes you on a journey to explore the hidden depths of this silent, ruthless intellect we all possess. Drawing on the latest scientific discoveries and research, experiences with patients, and Professor Grafton's own gripping stories of survival in the wilderness, Physical Intelligence explains the science behind our most overlooked ability and takes a fascinating and vital look at how we could and should use it better.

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