Can you really rewire an adult brain?
In theory the answer is 'yes', but there's a problem: no one seems to know exactly how to do it.
In Override, science journalist Caroline Williams sets off on a mission to find the answer. Delving into the latest studies on brain plasticity, which indicate that brain games don't actually do much to make you smarter, she tries to square her findings with the reality of brain plasticity — that the brain adapts physically as we learn something new.
Visiting top neuroscientists in their labs, she volunteers herself as a guinea pig in neuroscience studies, challenging researchers to make real changes to her — functioning, but imperfect — brain. She seeks to improve on her own weaknesses, such as a limited attention span and a tendency to worry too much, and then branches out into more mysterious areas such as intelligence, creativity, and the perception of time.
Trying everything from high-tech brain stimulation to meditation, adding bolt-on senses and retraining her stress response, Override is a very intimate, fascinating journey into discovering what neuroscience can really do for us — and, crucially, whether it's worth all the bother.
‘If your mind has a mind of its own, this is the book that will teach you how to discipline it and stop it wandering off. Caroline Williams has written an entertaining, smart self-help book for people who hate self-help books. Her great skill is in navigating the complexity of neuroscience to produce a practical, no-nonsense guide to brain-training that is also a page-turner.’
Gaia Vince, award-winning author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
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‘A delightful book. Smart, spirited, personal, and stocked with well-researched psychological and neural facts, woven together in an original tapestry.’
Marc Lewis, award-winning author of The Biology of Desire
‘A more nuanced understanding of how our brains really work that is both empowering and insightful.’
Fred Sculthorpe, The Irish Times
‘Presented in crisp chapters, Override is a diverting investigation into how neuroscience can nudge us towards making more efficient use of our brain’s resources.’