In this mind-bending book, award-winning neuroscientist Henning Beck explains why perfectionism is pointless – and argues that mistakes, missteps and flaws are the keys to success.
Remember that time you messed up simple maths or forgot the name of your favourite song? What if someone told you that our brain freezes are actually secret weapons, proof of our superiority to computers and AI? In Scatterbrain, we learn that boredom awakens the muse, distractions spark creativity and misjudging time creates valuable memories, among the many other benefits of our faulty minds. Combining cutting-edge science with brain-boosting advice and rivetting real-life stories, Henning Beck takes us on a fascinating adventure through human memory (one that we’ll all remember differently!).
‘The brain is a messy, faulty wonder, and if we could all agree that perfection is not the mind’s ultimate goal, we would be much better off. Henning Beck shows us how to appreciate our imperfect brains – and is fine with readers straying from the page from time to time!’ — Ylva Østby, author of Diving for Seahorses
Neuroscientist Beck reveals how the brain's faults actually enhance its functionality in this delightful study. These integral flaws and errors "mask the hidden strengths of our brain," even as they create false memories, lead to math errors, and stymie decision-making. In a friendly and colloquial voice, with examples drawn from popular iconography and everyday life, Beck cites current research in neuropsychology to explain various mental phenomena for example, why humans forget names and faces, how they learn from mistakes, and why they aren't adept at rote learning but understand the way the world works. A lively discussion about creativity shows why people are rarely innovative on demand but can generate new ideas that are neither planned nor regulated. Readers will come to appreciate how the brain's disorderly operating system is an advantage, and that being imperfect is what gives rise to new ideas, as Beck sums up when he pinpoints "the unique characteristic of human thought that it is not flawless and exact." Illuminating, and a joy to read, this offers, in comparison to other recent neuroscience titles, a refreshingly accessible and relatable take on the brain's inner workings that should appeal to both science buffs and casual readers.