Published Date: December 9, 2015

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Admit it. When you hear the word neuroscience, you expect something abstract and remote, very complex, of little practical value. But this time…it is personal.

In a highly anticipated, three-part series airing on the National Geographic Channel in Fall 2011, National Geographics Brainworks makes YOU the test subject in an array of astonishing challenges and experiments. Your brain will be stimulated, fooled, and ultimately amazed, as scientists and other experts show you how this three pound blob of gray matter effectively makes you, you.

The television program brings together a crack team of scientists and researchers from a wide range of fields, including neurology, psychology, and opthamology. Awareness expert Dan Simons and memory expert Elizabeth Loftus are just two of the notables who lend their considerable brainpower to this unprecedented project. The program also draws on the know how of those who traffic in brain tricks illusionists such as David Copperfield and Apollo Robbins and artists such as color expert Beau Lotto to bring each mind bending illusion to life.

The captivating companion book further messes with your head through the visual illusions discovered and perfected by masters of fine art as well as through deceptively simple illustrations that are finely crafted by psychologists to highlight the way we take in and process the world around us.

In three sections Seeing, Thinking, and Being you will see for yourself why these visual illusions and experiments hoodwink the brain. You will find out how the structure of the eye influences what you see. And you will think of events that may not have actually happened, in order to learn how the mind can create a false memory.

Rather than simply displaying a collection of puzzlers or visual illusions, each chapter guides you through a series of perceptual and thought experiments firsthand and then walks you through your brain reaction in clear, user friendly language providing every reader with a compelling personal interest in finding out why his or her mind acts the way it does.

Smart, exciting, and deeply engaging, Brainworks pulls you in, manipulates your mind, and leaves you with a better understanding as well as a richer appreciation of the mental marvels that we take for granted.

Author Information

Michael Sweeney, a graduate of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, received his Ph.D. in Journalism from Ohio Universitys E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and his Masters in Journalism at the University of North Texas. He reported for on Dr. Robert Ballards Titanic expedition. Sweeneys numerous books include The Ultimate Survival Book, Peace: The Biography of a Symbol, God Grew Tired of Us, and Mind: The Complete Brain.

A member of the exclusive club of world famous magicians, David Copperfield is known for staging whopper illusions, including making the Statue of Liberty disappear before a live audience and millions of TV viewers. In addition to performing worldwide, he has had a hit on Broadway (Dreams and Nightmares), founded an organization to help rehabilitate disabled people (Project Magic), and published books (Beyond Imagination and David Copperfields Tales of the Impossible).


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