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Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Tom Stafford

The authors have compiled a fascinating ?collection of probes into the moment-by-moment works of the brain?. From getting to know the structure of your brain to learning how we see, hear and recall events, Mind Hacks allows you to test the theories of … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Tom Stafford
Genre: Health, Mind & Body, Computers & Internet
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
1 review about Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your...

A guide to your cranial workings...

  • Dec 16, 2004
Ever wondered how that thing you have at the top of your head works (or doesn't work, as the case may be)? Mind Hacks - Tips & Tools for Using Your Brain (O'Reilly) by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb is a fun read to gain insight into your cranial mysteries.

Chapter List: Inside The Brain; Seeing; Attention; Hearing And Language; Integrating; Moving; Reasoning; Togetherness; Remembering; Other People; Index

The Hacks series, for those who haven't read one, is a volume of 100 tip, tricks, and "hacks" into whatever the subject matter happens to be. In this case, Stafford and Webb explore the inner workings of your mind. The early part of the book ("Inside The Brain") does a lot of explanation as to how the brain works, as well as how we can study the mind with our current technology. It's pretty much informational rather than "hands-on". But starting at #13 in "Seeing", you start to delve into specific areas of the mind. Many different studies and examples are shown (often referenced with URLs where you can follow along) that illustrate the given point. For example, #30 ("Understanding The Rotating Snakes Illusion") explains how the random movements of our eyes can create motion where there isn't any. #48 ("Detect Sounds On The Margins Of Certainty") show how the mind is adept in picking out signals hidden in random noise. And #75 ("Grasp The Gestalt") show how visual groupings influence how certain expectations are formed. Excellent material, and you may finally figure out why taking a test while drunk could be a legitimate strategy for passing.

This would also be a good book for game designers. By learning how the brain interprets certain signals and images, it would be possible to create simulations that are more lifelike on a level beyond what is currently available. From that perspective, this book should be required reading along with how to program games.

Interesting read, and one that should be done sitting in front of a computer so you can experience each hack in its fullest.

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