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Publisher's Summary

Inside your head sits the most complex object in the known universe - the human brain. This amazing organ has unique powers to make predictions about the future, form relationships with other people, adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, and so much more. We all have a basic conception of how our brains function, but when did you last dive into the fascinating world of neuroscience to truly understand the inner workings of your mind?

For decades, the field of neuroscience has been in a near-constant state of disruptive transformation, as we continually learn more about our incredible brains. Thanks to rapid advances in technology and in our understanding of the brain, today’s neuroscience research goes far beyond trying to understand how the brain works, and into the search for proven ways to optimize brain performance. In Your Best Brain, Professor John J. Medina - an award-winning scientist, New York Times best-selling author, and leading advocate for brain research - delivers 24 exciting lectures that probe the origins of consciousness, memory, emotion, attention, intelligence, and beyond. He focuses on five key areas of study in neuroscience: the brain’s physical structure and function, and how it enabled us to become the planet’s apex predator; the ways in which the brain processes information, and how that relates to intelligence; the intricacies of emotions and socialization, and how empathy is a vital survival mechanism; how our brains develop and change throughout our lifetimes; and how we can best use and expand our cerebral processing performance. After gaining a thorough understanding of the science behind your best brain, you’ll learn scientifically proven methods for improving your memory, boosting your creativity, and keeping your mind sharp for years to come.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2014 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2014 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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An in depth journey through the brain

the only thing I enjoyed more than the very informative lectures, was the narrator. very engaging and interesting. would recommend this to anyone with a desire to understand how the most complicated organ on earth works.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I wish my professors had been this engaging

My only complaint is that I wanted there to be more lectures. I was drawn in by the presenter and his style is enthusiastic and engaging. Loved all of it. #Audible1

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Fascinating and energetically delivered

#Audible1

Anecdotes and information distilled into straightforward analogies and examples. It ties many different threads together well and was thoroughly eye opening

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Very Informative

This book was well read and very engaging, full of interesting facts and information. I found the author a little heavy on pushing his Darwinian ideas, however I came out with a much greater appreciation for how we were created and am thoroughly convinced that Darwin is way out to lunch. I would still recommend the book based on the information presented.
#Audible1 is a great app. Love all the recommendations it sends every day.

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Fantastic!!

Very dynamic , funny and extremly informative !! Also prettttyy easy to understand:) thanks you alot for this lecture!

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Very Interesting

Found this book informative and entertaining with some great information about the brain, memory, aging, the teenage brain and so much more.

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A fun way to learn

Loved professor John Medina teaching style, his ability to weave humour into the subject and making the topic easy to understand. Really enjoyed this course, highly recommend this great course!

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Good, but likely to be dated in a few more years.

This isn’t a bad overview of currently theory and the science as understood. Or at least I hope so as that’s how it felt.
The lectures are framed in a teaser to relate, science facts and then the other half of the how to relate to this information sandwich.
The downside is that the bread of this sandwich are not always factually correct. There was no legal land transfer under the own an inch of the Yukon promotion, the prison study has been discredited massively... little issues like that. None of them invalid the brain science that I know little about, but it does have that little Huh he didn’t look into that deep enough.

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Entertaining!

This course showed me that brain sciences are not my cup of tea. That being said, the content is there and the narrator speaks with energy and emotion.

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  • Charles
  • 2015-07-22

Beautifully Clear and Entertaining

In all of creation, the least likely thing ever to be well understood is the human brain. Professor Medina spins what we know and the fuzzy parts we think we know into an engaging and entertaining story. Easy to follow and peppered with fascinating anecdotes and examples, this is a good listen for anyone, regardless of educational level or background in the sciences. As an MD and son of a neurology professor, it is the best telling of this story I have yet found.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • discoshrimp
  • 2015-01-28

Great Narrator

wow! I am blown away by the narrator in this book. He is charismatic and very well informed. His cadence and tone really hook you and keep you paying attention; you can practically hear his smile as he peppers in anecdotes and real world situations to support what he is speaking about. I highly recommend this audio book.

50 of 51 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Reilly
  • 2015-05-13

Mind blowing!

This is one of the greatest of the great courses. I found the lectures compelling, timely and well-explained. I even re-listened to a few segments because they were so fascinating. Awesome series! I highly recommend this one.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 2017-01-28

Brainy but not nerdy

This lecture series teaches you about the structure and function of the brain, and is also packed with practical tips on how to get the best out of your own brain.

What makes this lecture series stand out from the rest is the ‘lecturer’. I’ve put that word in quote marks because he’s so unlike the standard lecturer that it doesn’t feel right to use the regular word. He’s more like the host of a children’s TV programme, in the nicest possible way. He’s incredibly animated, frequently rising to peaks of excitement that send his voice into a shrill falsetto. That’s his style, to come across as being spectacularly enthused about his subject. He doesn’t sound like an academic, but he clearly knows his stuff and he shares this knowledge using lots of anecdotes and metaphors to illustrate an array of fascinating facts about an organ that just sits there, with the consistency of tofu, and doesn’t appear from the outside to do a fat lot. Appearances can be deceptive.

The practical tips are about a number of things: How to keep your brain alive and well for longer, how to improve your memory, how to avoid stress, and the importance of sleep. All good stuff and well worth a listen.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke
  • 2015-03-09

Have no doubt, this is worth it!

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in brain science or human behaviour this courses is well worth your time and money. The course is informative with the material being presented in an easily digestible form that doesn't dumb it down too much. I have listened to numerous books and courses on these topics and this course is the best for beginners and those wanting a refreshing refresher. The lecturer tries to maximise the presentation of the topics so you will remember them.Ultimately, this is one of the best purchases I have made, and is probably the best of The Great Courses I have listened to.

Note. The lecturer sounds like a slightly higher pitched, slightly more excitable Penn Jillette and that might not work for everyone. I like Penn Jillette, so it was a bonus for me.

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2015-02-10

The standard fare for brain science

The breadth of this lecture series is considerable, although I was hoping for a little more depth. The lecturer is very careful to qualify his information with peer reviewed research, which is refreshing. I guess I primarily had hoped that there was more new information out there, since I had already heard much of this from other sources. Narrated well. The lecturer is a skilled public speaker who knows how to maintain attention during a lecture.

73 of 79 people found this review helpful

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  • Barry Rinehart
  • 2015-01-27

Blow your mind with brain knowledge

John Medina needs his own TV show. What a great set of lessons and easy to understand communication. Accessible, entertaining, evocative, inspiring. Thank you.

37 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • I love audiobooks
  • 2015-03-09

Very enjoyable.

Informative and easy to understand. For all my fellow baby boomers a positive and instructive listen. I highly recommend to all ages.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy Olson
  • 2015-07-03

This was a great work of non-fiction.

Would you listen to Your Best Brain: The Science of Brain Improvement again? Why?

I have been in the medical field for over 30 years and found the science behind sleep, memory, emotion and other functions of the brain fascinating. You don't need to be knowledgeable in the medical arts to enjoy this book however. The Author and narrator is wonderful. He breaks down his subject in such a way that anyone will understand what he is talking about. The Professor wrote and narrates the book. He is jovial and obviously enjoys sharing his knowledge with you. You will learn why you feel as you do and it will make sense to you the way he has written the book. It is presented as a series of lectures and very easy to follow.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved learning new facts about the brain and its workings.

Which character – as performed by Professor John Medina – was your favorite?

There was no characters in this book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely. the lectures were engaging, entertaining and full of interesting facts. I will listen to this book again simply to remember all the details the Professor spoke of.

Any additional comments?

Even if you aren't medical give this book a listen. It is one of the best nonfiction offerings I have read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Douglas
  • 2015-03-04

Essential Listening for All who Own a Brain

Brilliant!
Prof Medina is a gifted lecturer & presents the material with the confidence and passion of an expert in the field. Essential listening for all who own a brain....

6 of 6 people found this review helpful