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It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain    by Sylvia Funston, Jay Ingram & Gary Clement order for
It's All in Your Head
by Sylvia Funston
Order:  USA  Can
Maple Tree, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Science writers Sylvia Funston and Jay Ingram encourage readers to imagine themselves shrunk small enough to 'stand on the surface of the brain.' They then give us a guided tour, enhanced by Gary Clement's humorous illustrations. Along the way, many simple 'Try this' experiments are suggested, while 'Brain Benders' allow us to exercise our own brains (answers are at the back of the book).

Topics covered include the senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch), emotions and body language, memory (short and long term, mnemonics and false memories), and thinking (the folded cortex as the 'superhero of the brain', differences between the sexes, dreaming, etc.). The book concludes with a handy 'User's Guide to the Brain', that shows the main parts graphically, highlighting which are involved in abilities like smell, reading or music appreciation.

It's All in Your Head presents brain function in an engaging fashion, with frequent asides (like a Phobia Name Game) to maintain interest. I especially enjoyed the many fascinating details included, like the fact that an owl collects sounds in its dish-shaped face, and a study that showed chickadees remembering hundreds of food stash locations.

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