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Extended Audio Sample Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life, by Steven Johnson, Alan Sklar Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,410 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Johnson, Alan Sklar Narrator: Alan Sklar Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this nationally bestselling, compulsively readable account of what makes brain science a vital component of people’s quest to know themselves, acclaimed science writer Steven Johnson subjects his own brain to a battery of tests to find out what’s really going on inside. He asks:

  • How do we “read” other people?
  • What is the neurochemistry behind love and sex?
  • What does it mean that the brain is teeming with powerful chemicals closely related to recreational drugs?
  • Why does music move us to tears?
  • Where do breakthrough ideas come from?

Johnson answers these and many more questions arising from the events of our everyday lives. You do not have to be a neuroscientist to wonder, for example, why do you smile? And why do you sometimes smile inappropriately, even if you don’t want to? How do others read your inappropriate smile? How does such interplay occur neurochemically, and what, if anything, can you do about it?

Fascinating and rewarding, Mind Wide Open speaks to brain buffs, self-obsessed neurotics, barstool psychologists, mystified parents, grumpy spouses, exasperated managers, and anyone who enjoys speculating and gossiping about the motivations and behaviors of other human beings. Steven Johnson shows us the transformative power of understanding brain science and offers new modes of introspection and tools for better parenting, better relationships, and better living.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Always considerate of his audience, Johnson weaves disparate strands of brain research and theory smoothly into the narrative (only a concluding section on Freud’s modern legacy feels like a tangent), which leaves readers’ minds more open than they were.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Debra Blasi | 2/18/2014

    " Johnson explores the physiology of his own brain and, ergo, ours in this mainstream (i.e., not esoteric) book. His thesis is right: the more we know how our brains actually function, the more control we have over how and what we think and do. Example: Your body continues producing emotional symptoms to a fear or anxiety (like racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, knotted stomach) after your brain has moved onto other tepid topics. Therefore we sometimes *feel* toward subjects that are no longer irrelevant to our fear, irritation, joy, or other emotions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Matthew Linsdell | 2/18/2014

    " This is a great introduction to brain science through the eyes of a layman. The reader was uninspiring but the content was excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laurel | 2/17/2014

    " This is a fun read. The author breaks the brain into manageable chunks (figuratively speaking, of course), and talks about some "applied" functions of various structures. It's certainly written for the novice in brain science, which I appreciated, but which may disappoint readers looking for more technical information on brain functions. There are some fun studies and anecdotes to keep it readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Todd Martin | 2/15/2014

    " Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson relies a little too much on personal narrative and too little on the science of neurology. With that said, Johnson is easy to read and provides some interesting information about the brain and how it functions. I particularly like how he ties this information back to practical ways that it can be used in everyday life (although, in many cases the usefulness is limited). "

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