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Your Brain: The Missing Manual--New from O'Reilly Media: How to Get the Most From Your Mind

May 27, 2008

Your Brain: The Missing Manual Sebastopol, CA—We all depend on that wet mass of crumpled up cell tissue called the brain, but few of us understand how this complex and most important organ works. Yet if the human brain sported an owner's manual, it would very likely look like this intriguingly engaging new book from O'Reilly, Your Brain: The Missing Manual ($24.99).

An essential guide for the modern brain owner by expert author Matthew MacDonald, Your Brain comes packed with ready-to-follow advice on everything from eating right to improving your memory.

"I wanted to write a book that claimed the middle ground between brain biology and practical advice," explains Matthew. "So I combined key insights about how the brain works with a practical payoff."

The result is an addictively readable guide. Your Brain doesn't just focus on how the brain works, but also on how you can use it more effectively. Matthew explains how we think, how we feel, and why it's so difficult to say no to that second piece of triple-chocolate cheesecake.

"People can get far more from their brain by learning to use it more effectively. And that's where my book fits in." adds Matthew. "Readers will learn how to compensate for the brain's weaknesses (for example, using memory tricks to shore up easily forgotten details), override the brain's autopilot, treat the brain right (with brain-friendly food and proper sleep), and spot the brain's mistakes before they become catastrophic."

Coverage includes:

  • Food and sleep. Your brain deserves proper upkeep--that means feeding it right and getting a decent rest. To help you out, you'll meet the brain systems that track time and those that power your worst food cravings.
  • Quirks and illusions. The brain is full of shortcuts and automatic assumptions. Some save you time, while others bamboozle you into sketchy conclusions. In this book, you'll spot the mistakes your brain makes, see dizzying optical illusions, and pick up a few great party tricks.
  • Aging. The brain starts to shrink at age 20, but savvy thinkers compensate by boosting their brains' efficiency. Here, you'll learn the best tricks for battling bad memory and staying sharp. You'll also see how the brain develops through life--essential insight for new parents and moody teenagers.
  • Pleasure, stress, and love. What separates the brain of the newly love-struck from that of the psychologically disturbed? Less than you might think. In these pages, you'll learn what the hardware of your brain can tell you about the riddles of human behavior.

One part science guide, one part self-help concierge, Your Brain: The Missing Manual comes grounded in the latest neuroscience, psychology, and nutritional wisdom. After all, your brain is easily your most important possession; it deserves proper upkeep.

For a review copy or more information please email peyton@oreilly.com. Please include your delivery address and contact information.

Matthew MacDonald is an author and programmer extraordinaire. His books include Excel 2007: The Missing Manual, Access 2007: The Missing Manual, Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual, and over a dozen books about programming with the Microsoft .NET Framework. In a dimly remembered past life, he studied English literature and theoretical physics.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596517786

Your Brain: The Missing Manual
Matthew MacDonald
ISBN: 9780596517786, 274 pages, $24.99 USD, £15.50 GBP

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