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Description - The Brain Book by Peter Russell

First published in 1980. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415034555
ISBN-10: 0415034558
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Pages: 286
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 23-Oct-1980
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Brain Book by Peter Russell

US Kirkus Review » Enthusiasm runs rampant in Peter Russell's romp through the nervous system. The English psychologist, having coached readers in meditation methods (The TM Technique, 1976), now is out to show you how to get more out of your brain: how to improve memory, make mind maps, enlarge imagery, speed-read, adopt the right mental set. He begins with justifiable praise for the brain's profundity and complexity, lacing the prose with tidbits about how an enriched early environment can develop the John Stuart Mills and Mozarts dormant in all tots. He decries the left-hemisphere-dominant approach of public schools (even suggesting that more children would exhibit photographic memories if they didn't have such quirky behavior suppressed out of them). The factual content in this first, theoretical section is all right up to a point. But Russell's optimism has him denying that neurons die off in considerable numbers throughout life, or that it matters. He is intrigued, moreover, by the analogy of memory to holography and this leads him to echo physicist David Bohm's idea that the underlying reality of the universe is one of pure vibration - a primal frequency we "concretize" individually. This, say RusselI et al., could account for telepathy, syncronicity, collective memory, etc. The second, "how-to" section of the book emphasizes memory mechanisms, reviewing the well-trod path from Ebbinghaus to Karl Pribram with excursions to the Greeks and Romans. There is the expectable emphasis on imagery, mnemonics, context, associations, rest, relaxation, review. Sections on study and note-taking explain how to extract key ideas and arrange them on the page (a mind map). The speed-reading section is a useful review of techniques, but concludes with typical hyperbole: "One subject, a fifteen-year-old girl, could even scan material at the rate of 80,000 words per minute with 100 per cent comprehension." A judicious reader, skipping the speculations and editing out enthusiasms, can find useful information and practical tips. (Kirkus Reviews)

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