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Publisher's Summary

From the author of How Emotions Are Made, a myth-busting primer on the brain in the tradition of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

Have you ever wondered why you have a brain? Let renowned neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett demystify that big gray blob between your ears. In seven short essays (plus a bite-sized story about how brains evolved), this slim, entertaining, and accessible collection reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research. You'll learn where brains came from, how they're structured (and why it matters), and how yours works in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. Along the way, you'll also learn to dismiss popular myths such as the idea of a "lizard brain" and the alleged battle between thoughts and emotions, or even between nature and nurture, to determine your behavior.

Sure to intrigue casual listeners and scientific veterans alike, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain is full of surprises, humor, and important implications for human nature - a gift of a book that you will want to savor again and again.

©2020 Lisa Feldman Barrett (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Acclaimed neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett narrates her series of essays in this brief but sprightly introduction to the brain. In her erudite, enthusiastic voice…Barrett's goal is to give compelling and comprehensible information to a general audience. In this production she has definitely succeeded." - AudioFile Magazine, An Earphones Award Winner

“An excellent education in brain science…[Feldman Barrett] deftly employs metaphor and anecdote to deliver an insightful overview of her favorite subject…so short and sweet that most readers will continue to the 35-page appendix, in which the author delves more deeply, but with no less clarity, into topics ranging from teleology to the Myers-Briggs personality test to ‘Plato’s writings about the human psyche.’ Outstanding popular science.” - Kirkus, STARRED

"What about that 'three-pound blob between your ears'? In seven essays about the brain and a half-size one about its evolution…Barrett has crafted a well-written tribute to this wow-inducing organ." - Booklist 

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What listeners say about Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

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Great book about the functioning of brain

Nice explanation on working of brain at a conceptual people that we can understand easily. Lots of popular misconceptions about the brain cleared.

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Great book. A life changing perspective

I am not a fan of scientific writing. It takes a lot of effort and time to maintain the interest of reading. I needed something more than just raw scientific data and research stories

This book has just done exactly the same. amazing redition and easy to understand.

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  • Chris
  • 15-02-21

A very misleading book

This is one of the best example of a scientist who gave up her soul just to be popular and make a buck

1. on the actual science - to a general audience that doesnt have a background in this area, to claim specific functions are NOT related to any specific part of the brain is incrediblly misleading and certified malpractice , there are bunch more but I wont waste the time listing them all
2. all scientists know the danger of trying to shoehorn their field of expertise into large social economical issue and thus is recommended to tread very carefully - not this author, who blissfully touted her theory on poverty, human as a overrated species and etc social hot button issues with no real research or expertise to back that up

I am quite sure she is going to sell ton of her book targeting a specific segment of the population but it really besmirch her as a scientist

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  • Bilal
  • 29-12-20

Excellent book. Must read.

Concepts are excellently organized and explained. Must read if you want to better understand the human brain.

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  • fj
  • 17-02-21

well written, thought provoking, and empowering

Very accessible and informative. I listened to this after How Emotions Are Made and love it and started a bookclub with others to discuss it.

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  • Ian
  • 12-02-21

fun and educational book for all

really fascinating and fast-paced and easy to digest lessons about the brain and human experience. Great for someone just getting into the topic or a really nice reminder of these principles for those already steeped in neuroscience and psychology

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  • PMonaco
  • 04-02-21

Essential reading

Lisa Feldman Barrett gives a clear explanation of what the human brain does. In doing so, she demystifies many popular misconceptions of what the brain does and how it works. Dr Lisa Barrett's shares, in an accessible manner, what she has learned and discovered over many years in neuroscience and psychological research. I have learned a great deal about how my brain functions and I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a brain.

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  • Bryan Decker
  • 15-01-21

Another Great Book by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Outstanding quick read on quite possibly the most complex subject matter by one of the best neuroscientists and science writers today.

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  • Richard C.
  • 14-01-21

Awesome book

I never write reviews. This book was great and really challenges the way i think and helps my neuroplasticity evolve.

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  • David Barnhart
  • 03-01-21

Dang! Now we are responsible!

Fifty years ago I thought our application of behavior therapy would affect the way most parents rear their children. One of my colleagues said we had a moral responsibility to use this technology of behavior change. The learning we are obtaining from Barrett’s and others’ labs seems to fit within this imperative.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-12-20

great

I loved this book it is a great continuation of the "How Emotions Are Made."

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  • mike
  • 31-12-20

Who we are

Well written and an easy read.clear concepts well explained. I wish she dwelt on consciousness and it’s evolutionary role.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-12-20

An overview not an extra insight

I chose this hoping to increase and challenge my existing understanding of the brain. I found that it didn't diverge greatly from my undergrad/working knowledge other than one specific main point. I was disappointed that the book didnt open up more challenging concepts and real world applications.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-20

Superb

The current state of cognitive neuroscience, summed up in highly relatable metaphors and well-articulated explanations by one of our time's most brilliant and humane scientists. Recommended for anyone interested in the brain and mind.

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  • E. Brown
  • 05-12-20

New ways of thinking

Loved this book. Whilst a bit slow in places (more likely me just keen to find out more), the book is evidence-based with excellent examples to explain further and illustrate the points being made. I have loads of books on similar topics of the brain and neuroscience which I am finding tend to get a bit repetitive. However this one contains loads of new insights (or new ways of explaining ideas) that made me think differently. It feels short (probably because I listened over a few days) but is concentrated - there is a lot packed in to each chapter. I will definitely be listening again!

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  • Felix21
  • 03-12-20

interesting insights

A light, accessible style. Good narrative. Evidence based. Interesting insights which were new to me. I'd recommend it.

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  • Steven Di Pietro
  • 12-02-21

Brilliant. I put it On the shelf with God delusion

Brilliant book. It’s rare to find a book that makes you challenge your most dearly held beliefs. The God delusion was one, Sam Harris and his discussion about free will is another, and this book for its dismantling of my fairytale. I love it when an author talks to their own book, and Lisa handles it with aplomb.