Monday, May 21, 2012

brain stuff

I recently read a book by Professor Ian Robertson ( PhD in neuropsychology) called "The Minds Eye":

The basic thrust of the book is that we in 'the western world' are educated in a very 'wordy' way but may be under-educated in 'picture thinking'. I first thought this was another of those '10 secrets of success' books that only succeeded to line the pockets of the author - but this one actually had more substance and clinical research to it. I also appreciated his style of writing which didn't make assumptions about the readers understanding of weird sounding brain-parts such as 'hippocampus', 'cerrbellum' and 'cerebral cortex'

His main point, he states on pg 3 " Imagery is important, but in western culture, language is king. In school we steadily wrap our children's brains in a cool web of language - it would be terrible if we didn't, but there is a cost to everything. By neglecting imagery we risk the withering of a whole set of remark mental capacities"

So what is his main points about imagery ?

Imagery =  creativity. Not just the  'arts' but in better thinking in the sciences
Imagery = management of memory. Tying new information onto mental images makes it easier to remember points for exams and so on
Imagery =  management of stress. Exercising a change in imaginging 'fail' outcomes to imaging better outcomes lowers stress and helps us think more healthily
Imagery = can help with health and immunity issues. He doesn't sell snake oil here - no promises - but there are experiments that show the mind can be disciplined to help in recovery
Imagery = sports management. Well documented that elite sports people imagine their event before they do it.
He also discussed the use of imagery in hypnosis, what is happening in dreams and touches on images in religion (I gather he is agnostic)

Why have I posted this here?  I thought it was an interesting and thought-provoking book and worth sharing.

Here is his blog:

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