How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Most) Everything Better
In this compelling, cutting-edge book, two generations of science writers explore the exciting science of "body maps" in the brain-and how startling new discoveries about the mind-body connection can change and improve our lives. Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? What makes video games so addic tive? How can "practicing" your favorite sport in your imagination improve your game? The answers can be found in body maps.
Just as road maps represent interconnections across the landscape, your many body maps represent all aspects of your bodily self, inside and out. In concert, they create your physical and emotional awareness and your sense of being a whole, feeling self in a larger social world.
Moreover, your body maps are profoundly elastic. Your self doesn't begin and end with your physical body but extends into the space around you. This space morphs every time you put on or take off clothes, ride a bike, or wield a tool. When you drive a car, your personal body space grows to envelop it. When you play a video game, your body maps automatically track and emulate the actions of your character onscreen. When you watch a scary movie, your body maps put dread in your stomach and send chills down your spine. f your body maps fall out of sync, you may have an out-of-body experience or see auras around other people.
The Body Has a Mind of Its Own explains how you can tap into the power of body maps to do almost anything better: play tennis, strum a guitar, ride a horse, dance a waltz, empathize with a friend, raise children, cope with stress.
The story of body maps goes even further, providing a fresh look at causes of anorexia, bulimia, obsessive plastic surgery, and the notorious golfer's curse "the yips." It lends insights into culture, language, music, parenting, emotions, chronic pain, and more.
Filled with illustrations, wonderful anecdotes, and even parlor tricks you can use to reconfigure your body sense, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own will change the way you think-about the way you think.
The Body Has a Mind of Its Own:
"Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee have a gift for making the most arcane discoveries in neuroscience both fascinating and fun. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own challenges our basic assumptions about who we are-and what our body is. This book is a revelation: You'll never think about your body-or your mind-the same way."
author of Social Intelligence
"In The Body Has a Mind of Its Own, Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee achieve a magnificent balance of depth, breadth, and clarity. This is scientific reporting at its
best-the sort that not only imparts knowledge, but also evokes curiosity and wonder. At a time when our society is beset with an epidemic of scientific illiteracy, this is marvelous medicine."
-LARRY DOSSEY, M.D.,
author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
"A delightfully original, understandable, and mind-stretching
work from the first family of American science journalism."
columnist, The New York Times Magazine