Book: A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist
Author: Michael Tranter PhD
Genre: Popular Science/ Brain
Find It: Amazon
A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist answers some of the most asked questions about the brain, making the science fun and accessible to everyone. Inside, you will journey through some of the most interesting and strange things that our brain does every single day.
Have you always wanted to know just what a memory actually is, or why we dream? What is our consciousness? Why do some people seem to ‘click’ with others? And can our brain really multi-task?
The clearest idea about why we dream is that the brain needs time to process the memories and emotions that we experienced during the day and convert them into long-term storage. This makes a lot more sense when we look at the brains of people who are sleeping and see that the hippocampus, the part for memories, and the anterior cingulate cortex, which is involved in assigning emotional context, are particularly active. In fact, on days where we have lots of new experiences, the brain can still be processing this information up to seven nights later. This also partly explains why stressful and emotional events in our lives can significantly affect the quality of our sleep.
One team of scientists demonstrated this by having people play video games for several hours before sleeping. Over 60% of people reported having dreams about the game, suggesting that our short-term memory is particularly active during our dreams.
Furthermore, the actual events of the dream are believed to be the combination of the short-term memories we recently experienced, and the long-term memories that our brain thinks are relevant and need to be connected with each other. This supports the view that sleeping and dreaming help to cement our memories from short-term storage in the hippocampus to long-term storage all over the brain. This process happens mostly in NREM sleep and the application of emotional context – how we feel about them, occurs in REM sleep, our deep sleep.
A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist is a surprisingly funny and engaging read!
For those discerning bookworms and book-dragons alike, you’ll find Dr. Tranter’s book both down-to-earth and full of humor as he explains in simple terms how our brains work, while giving you references for more in-depth materials should you wish to jump down that rabbit hole.
A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist is a perfect book for the budding scientist in your life to the curious reader. Everyone will find this book interesting and delightfully brimming with strange facts about how our brains work.
The author will be raffling off a $20 Amazon Gift Card during the book tour!
About the Author
Dr Mike Tranter is from the North of England and studied how drugs work in our body, but it wasn’t long before he found his true calling as a neuroscientist. After a PhD in neuroscience, he spent years in research labs all over the world, studying how the brain works. Although, it is his prominent rise as a science communicator, opening up the world of neuroscience to everybody, that he enjoys the most.
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