Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon Book Summary - Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon Book explained in key points
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Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon summary

Rahul Jandial

The New Science and Stories of the Brain

4.6 (401 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon by Rahul Jandial is a guidebook to develop the brain's power through easy-to-implement measures. It navigates neurological science and discusses real-life cases to help transform lives.

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    Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon
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    You can boost your memory through brain training, self-testing and area-restricted searching.

    Scientists have long attempted to discover ways of improving cognitive functions like memory. A great leap forward on this front was made in 1984 when the New Zealand academic James R. Flynn discovered that, from the beginning of the twentieth century, overall IQ scores had been rising by three points per decade. Flynn argued that his discovery proved that humans have adapted to an increasingly cognitively challenging world. Today, most scientists agree that the “Flynn effect,” as it has become known, suggests that the widespread adoption of new technologies, like radio and television and, later, the internet and smartphones, over the last century has made us evolve cognitively. 

    The fact that cognitive ability is not simply determined by our genes is great news. It means you can boost your natural memory abilities, for instance by using brain training. Now, it’s true that in 2016, Lumosity, a popular online brain game service, faced a $2 million Federal Trade Commission lawsuit in the US for making unsubstantiated claims – so the reputation of brain-training services has been tarnished recently. But not all brain training is a sham! Brain HQ, a program designed to boost your cognitive speed, has been proven to improve long-term memory and reasoning skills and even drastically reduce the risk of developing dementia. The program requires players to focus on a central target while identifying icons that pop up in the periphery of the screen.

    Another way to improve memory is by self-testing. Testing yourself when learning tends to result in better memory recall than simply reading information. For example, do you remember how much the Federal Trade Commission sued Lumosity for? If not, go back over the information in this blink and then try testing yourself again. 

    You can also improve your memory with something called area-restricted searching. It involves thinking of every item in a given category before moving onto another one. A 2013 study published in the journal Memory and Cognition found that when asked to list all of the animals they could think of, the intelligent participants of a tested group were capable of listing more animals than the less-intelligent participants only because they could think of more categories of animal. When researchers provided lists of categories to all participants in the group, both intelligent and less-intelligent people performed equally well. So the next time you need to remember items on your grocery list, try to think of everything in a given category, such as fruit or dairy products, before moving onto the next area of the store.

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    What is Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon about?

    Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon (2019) takes a look into the human brain and the science of cognitive health. Debunking common myths about the brain, these blinks will bring you up-to-date insights on cognitive functions such as sleep, memory and creativity, as well as the best ways to harness your natural abilities. 

    Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon Review

    Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon (2020) is a fascinating exploration of the human brain and the lessons it can teach us about life. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • Packed with insightful stories and real-life experiences, it offers a unique perspective on the intricacies of the mind and provides valuable life lessons.
    • With its engaging storytelling and relatable examples, the book effortlessly combines scientific knowledge with practical advice, making it accessible and applicable to everyday life.
    • The author's insightful observations and deep understanding of the brain make this book an enlightening read that will keep you engaged from start to finish.

    Best quote from Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon

    Everyone has a deep well of creativity within themselves just waiting to be tapped.

    —Rahul Jandial
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    Who should read Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon?

    • Neuroscience enthusiasts
    • Health nuts looking to improve their memory
    • Artists and entrepreneurs seeking to become more creative

    About the Author

    Rahul Jandial, MD, PhD is an American neurosurgeon and scientist at City of Hope, a research center, hospital and postgraduate training faculty in Los Angeles. He is the lead scientist at the cutting-edge neuroscience research facility Jandial Laboratory and has written ten academic books and over 100 papers. He has also written columns for VICE and appeared on Today, Nightline, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

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    Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon FAQs 

    What is the main message of Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon?

    The main message of Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon is to make the most of every moment and strive for personal growth.

    How long does it take to read Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon?

    The reading time for Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon is an insightful and thought-provoking book. It offers valuable lessons on life and personal development.

    Who is the author of Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon?

    The author of Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon is Rahul Jandial.

    What to read after Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Source by Dr. Tara Swart
    • Activate Your Brain by Scott G. Halford
    • The Brain by David Eagleman
    • The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
    • The Body Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson
    • The Disordered Mind by Eric R. Kandel
    • You Can Fix Your Brain by Tom O’Bryan
    • The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge
    • The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean
    • Unlearn by Humble the Poet