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Recent Brain Books

Aamodt, Sandra & Wang, Sam

Welcome to Your Brain

This is a terrific book. The authors take highly complex information about the brain and make it very easy to understand. They have great senses of humour so the book is very entertaining as well as accurate and interesting. They talk about the various stages of brain development – early childhood, adolescence, to old age. Drugs and the brain, memory, intelligence – they are all here. Bloomsbury Publishers 2008

Abraham, Carolyn

Possessing Genius — The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain

This is the fascinating story of the scientists who examined Einstein’s brain 30 years after he died. It includes stories of Marion Diamond and her work on counting glial cells in Einstein’s brain. Her work was one of the pieces of research the dispelled the notion that Einstein’s brain was the same as any other brain. She was able to show how his brain was different. Excellent story and fascinating science. 2002

Alper, Matthew

The God Part of the Brain — A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God

Alper draws on research from biology, philosophy, psychology and argues that belief in a spiritual realm is an evolutionary coping mechanism that developed to help people deal with death. Source Books, 2008.

Andreasen, Nancy

The Creating Brain – The Neuroscience of Genius

Dr. Andreasen is one of the world’s leading authorities on schizophrenia. In this book she has turned her attention to creativity, how we get it, how we can develop it. It is not the same as intelligence or skill. Dana Press 2005

Amen, Daniel G.

Magnificent Mind At Any Age — Maximum Ways To Unleash Your Brain’s Maximum Potential

Dr. Amen has written a very readable, practical book that includes information on how to treat anxiety, depression, memory problems, ADD and insomnia and many other topics. 2008

Making A Good Brain Great

You may have seen Dr. Amen on PBS outlining the research and practical ideas that are in this book. All of his books are excellent. 2005

Baron-Cohen, Simon

The Essential Difference – The Truth About the Male & Female Brain

Dr. Cohen explains research that indicates that women are wired for empathy and men are wired for systems. His explanations of the differences are fascinating and very clearly presented. This is bound to be a controversial book will make you think of the sexes in new ways. 2003

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty

Dr. Baron-Cohen believes that “evil” is essentially just lack of empathy.  Chapters include the following: Explaining “Evil” and human cruelty; The Empathy Mechanism; The Empathy Gene; How To Spot Zero Degrees of Empathy”. This is fascinating.

Benkler, Yochai

The Penguin and the Leviathan — How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest Crown Business 2011

Many people believe that people are selfish. Top-down business models, punitive legal systems, market-based approaches to the environment and ediuation are all based on the believe that people are selfish.

In this book, Harvard professor, Yochai Benkler draws on brain science, evolutionary biology, political science, etc. to show that these people are wrong and models based on people’s natural tendency to cooperate will be the way of the future. This will force you to rethink your view of human nature. Dr. Louis Leakey in his research on early humans said that we are a cooperative species. When people disputed this, he said, “If we had not been cooperative, we never would have survived as a species.” This is a terrific book.

Blackmore, Susan

Consciousness: An Introduction

Oxford Press 2004

Brizendine, Louann

The Female Brain

Ever wondered how male and female brains differ? This book will give you lots of interesting ideas. (a woman uses 20,000 words a day while a man uses 7,000 etc.) August 1, 2006

The Male Brain

Chapters include: The Teen Brain, The Daddy Brain, The Mature Male Brain, The Future of the Male Brain etc.  This author has done a terrific job of explaining male and female brains. Both books are highly readable and fascinating. Crown Publishing, 2010

Brockman, John (editor)

Is the Internet Changing The Way You Think — The Net’s Impact On Our Minds and Future. Harper Perennial, 2011

Brockman, author and founder of website has asked more than 150 great thinkers how the internet is changing the way they think. This book has their fascinating answers.

Caine, Renate Nummela; Caine, Geoffrey; Crowell, Sam

MindShifts — A Brain-Based Process for Restructuring Schools and Renewing Education

The authors discuss 12 principles of brain-based learning and give many practical ideas on how instructors can incorporate these principles into instruction. 2006.

Caine, Renate & Geoffrey, McClintic, Carol and Klimek, Karl

12 Brain/Mind Learning Principles in Action – Developing Executive Functions of the Human Brain

What is the optimal emotional environment for learning?  This is a great book full of practical ideas. The authors outline the research and the practical application of that research in ways that are very helpful to instructors. 2009

Caine, Donald B.

Within Reason – Rationality and Human Behaviour

Dr. Calne is a renowned neurologist from UBC who has thought long and passionately on why we are as we are. Frans De Waal, author of Good Natured, says “For anyone who feels that science is of necessity reductionistic and morally insensitive, here is a book to prove them wrong.1999

Carter, Rita

Mapping the Memory — Understanding Your Brain To Improve Your Memory

Carter does a great job of clearly explaining which parts of the brain are involved in memory formation. She talks about the four types – episodic, semantic, procedural and working memory and how amnesia and Alzheimer’s impair memory. Ulysses Press, 2006

Churchland, Patricia

Braintrust: What Sciences Tells Us About Morality Princeton University Press 2011

The author draws on neuroscience, evolutionary biology, experimental psychology and genetics to help us approach the question of where values come from. Chapters include the following: Brain-Based Values, Caring and Caring For, Cooperating and Trusting, Networking: Genes, Brains and Behaviour, Skills for a Social Life, Religion and Morality.

Damasio, Antonio

Decarte’s Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Body

Damasio things Decarte got it wrong. Decartes felt that the mind was separate from the brain. Damasio believes that they are one and the same. The mind is what the brain does. This is a fascinating book. 2005

Looking For Spinoza — Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain

Damasio’s newest book is terrific. This is an optimistic book about the human condition and a “masterwork of science and writing”. 2003

The Feeling of What Happens: Body And Emotion in the Making of Consciousness

What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be conscious? This is a fantastic book that tries to answer these questions from Damasio’s perspective. 2000

Diamond, Marion and Hopson, Janet

Magic Trees of the Mind – How to Nurture Your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence

Marion Diamond is a neuroanatomist who has researched brain plasticity for many years. She discusses ways parents can intellectually stimulate their children’s brains and increase their intelligence, creativity etc. She has included a comprehensive list of resources parents can use to do this. Excellent book for anyone working with or raising children or adolescents. 1998

Doidge, Norman

The Brain That Changes Itself — Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science This book is excellent. It has been featured on PBS television. December, 2007

Edelman, Gerald

Brain Nature — Brain Science and Human Knowledge

Nobel Laureate and highly respected neuroscientist, Dr. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on advancements in brain science. He describes how our brains and bodies give rise to knowledge, creativity and mental experience and predicts a future in which brain-based devices will be conscious Yale University Press, 2006

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

Another great book on consciousness – he describes how our brains and bodies give rise to knowledge, creativity and mental experience. In chapter 12 he talks about how he believes that in the future brain based devices will be conscious.

Yale University Press, 2006

Wider Than The Sky — The Phenomenal Gift of Consciousness

This is an excellent book on what it means to be conscious. It is a very interesting but it is more technical than most of the books in this bibliography. If you are interested in consciousness, you would find it fascinating. Yale University Press, 2004

Feinstein, Sheryl

Secrets of the Teenage Brain — Research Based Strategies for Reaching and Teaching Today’s Adolescents

Chapters include Teen Cognition and Learning, The Teen Brain – Under Construction, etc. There is a chapter on teaching the teenage brain that can be very helpful. Corwin, 2009

The Praeger Handbook of Learning and the Brain

This 2 volume handbook is written by a number of experts in the area of education and the brain. The Handbook looks at topics such as Authentic Assessment, Poverty, Adult Brain, Reading and Comprehension, Moral Development, etc. and tells us about what brain researchers and educational experts can tell us about these topics. It is an excellent resource. Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT. 2006

Learning and the Brain: A Comprehensive Guide for Educators Parents and Teachers

This is a great book that has a lot of practical ideas on things parents and teachers can use to help students learn. Topics include brain development, learning, curriculum, at-risk students, classroom management, culture, emotion, food, intelligence, learning environments, learning challenges, learning theories and physical movement. It covers education from pre-school to the adult learner.  2007

Fields, R. Douglas

The Other Brain  Scientific and Medical Breakthroughs That Will Heal Our Brains and Revolutionize Our Health Simon and Schuster, 2011.

This book is about the 85% of your brain,  which is made up of gilal cells. (neurons make up 15% of your brain) It is loaded with fascinating information about the brain. Strokes usually involve death of glial cells more than neurons. The third trimester is the worst time to expose the developing infant to drugs and alcohol. Find out why. This book is loaded with leading edge research on a largely unknown part of our brain.

Fotuhi, Majid

The Memory Cure — How to Protect Your Brain Against Memory Loss and Alzheimer’s

Dr. Fotuhi, neurologist, Harvard Medical School – expert on memory and how to protect it. His 10 step plan to protect your memory is very useful for everyone. Includes risk factors that can lead to memory loss, popular beliefs about memory, aging and ideas on how to keep your memory in good shape for the rest of your life. 2004

Gardner, Howard

Five Minds For The Future

Gardner says that in the future, we will have to have the following 5 minds: the Disciplined Mind, the Creating Mind, the Respectful Mind, and the Ethical Mind. He describes each of these minds and explains that he feels that in the future, these minds will not be an option, they will be necessary if we are to be successful in life. 2009

The Disciplined Mind – What All Students Should Understand

Gardiner believes the purpose of a K-12 education should be to enhance students’ deep understanding of truth (and falsity) beauty (and ugliness) and goodness (and evil) as defined by their various cultures. He suggests we take themes and study them in depth. Examples he uses are Mozart for the beautiful, evolution for the true and the holocaust for the good and evil. 1999

Gazzaniga, Michael

Human — The Science Behind What Makes Your Brain Unique

A fascinating story of how our brain evolved. He talks about art, language, empathy, and the events in our evolutionary history that make us unique. It is extremely interesting and very entertaining.  Harper-Collins, 2008

The Ethical Brain

Gazzaniga raises some of the most difficult ethical issues of our time and helps us sort them out. Alan Alda said— “If it were possible for this book to have been written a couple of thousand years ago, we might have avoided a lot of misery. What an important question it raises: What is known about the brain that can guide us in forming a set of rational ethical principles? The great frontier before us is the question of how we will deal with one another, and this fascinating book gets us on our way. Dana Press 2006

Who’s In Charge? Free Will And The Science Of The Brain Henry Holt & Co. 2011

Many people argue that “It was not my fault that I did that, it was my brain.” Gazzaniga argues that “We are responsible agents who should be held responsible for our actions because responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains.” He discusses the “interpreter” brain on the left side of the brain that has to make sense of everything (leads to superstition, religion, etc.) the social mind, free will, etc. This is something every instructor, teacher, parent or manager should read.

Gilbert, Daniel

Stumbling on Happiness

Think you know what makes you happy? You might be surprised. If you like Malcolm Gladwell’s books, you will love this one. Contains fascinating explanations of how the mind works. Gilbert has a great sense of humour so this is lots of fun to read. Knopf Canada, May, 2006

Goldberg, Elkhonon

The Wisdom Paradox — How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older

For those f us who are getting older, this book is reassuring and uplifting. Goldberg discusses how we become wiser as we age. Our brains change as we age — they can grow even stronger. One interesting chapter discusses how Dr. Goldberg became convinced by watching President Ronald Reagan on TV that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s well before he left office. He discusses a “cognitive fitness” program that can enhance our decision making powers as we age. Dr. Bob Sylwester says “The Wisdom Paradox is a marvellously informative, accessible and optimistic book on cognitive maturation and maintenance” Gotham Books, 2006

The New Executive Brain — Frontal Lobes in a Complex World

Published August, 2009. I haven’t read this one yet but I am sure it will be as terrific as his earlier version of this book The Executive Brain — Frontal Lobes and the Civilized World.

Goleman, Daniel & Chermiss, Cary Editors

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

Goleman talks about how leaders, teachers need social intelligence. He has lots of practical examples of how this is so important. DNA is not destiny.  2007

The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace

This book has many practical ideas on how you can create an emotionally intelligent workplace where everyone thrives. They mention how we can use human resources functions to enhance emotional intelligence among staff. Jossey-Bass Publishers 2001

Goleman, Daniel Editor

Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

The authors believe that if a leader resonates energy and enthusiasm, an organization thrives; if a leader spreads negativity and dissonance, it flounders. They outline the links between neuroscience and leadership. This book should be read by every leader. 2002

Working with Emotional Intelligence

This book gives practical suggestions on how we can use the information about emotional intelligence in our educational institutions and professional life. This book is particularly useful to college instructors who would like to use a more wholistic approach in their programs. It is also very useful to managers in business, industry and government. 1998.

Healing Emotions – Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Emotions and Health

This book describes the extraordinary encounter between Buddhist teachers and Western psychologists, physicians and scientists. Can the Mind heal the body? How are the brain, immune system and emotions interconnected? Is there a biological foundation for ethics? These are a few of the questions with which this book deals. 1997

Gould, Stephen Jay

The Mis-measure of Man

If you are interested in the history of intelligence testing, scientific racism, The Bell Curve wars, etc. you will find this book fascinating. For example, he quotes Alfred Binet in 1898 “the relationship between the intelligence of subjects and the volume of their head… is very real and has been confirmed by all methodical investigators, without exception…” and then he goes on to say how Binet realized that he was wrong in his conclusions. Discusses nature versus nurture in the matter of intelligence. 1981

Gruwell, Erin

Teach With Your Heart – Lessons I Learned From The Freedom Writers

This is the true story of Erin Gruwell’s life as a teacher in a ghetto school in Long Beach, Ca. The movie “Freedom Writers” starring Hilary Swank is based on this story of how a teacher made such a tremendous difference in the lives of her students. 2008

Greenfield, Susan A.

The Private Life of the Brain — Emotions, Consciousness and the Secret of the Self

Greenfield uses insights from neuroscience, pharmacology, psychology, philosophy, and everyday life to explain human consciousness. Those of you interested in what drugs do to the brain would find this book very interesting. 2001

The Human Mind Explained – An Owner’s Guide to the Mysteries of the Mind

This book contains a great deal of information about many aspects of the mind. It has lots of beautiful colour pictures that illustrate the points it makes. Very clearly written. 1996

Hare, Robert and Babiak, Paul

Snakes in Suits — When Psychopaths Go To Work

Dr. Robert Hare is one of the world’s leading experts on psychopathology. This book describes the problems that can occur when psychopaths are working in a company or institution. He describes the rich environment for psychopaths in business, religious, political, and social organizations and the internet. He describes self defence techniques for dealing with these people. Harper Collins Publishers 2006. Another terrific book by Dr. Hare is “Without Conscience”.

Hamer, Dean and Copeland, Peter

Living with Our Genes – Why They Matter More Than You Think

Hamer is a molecular geneticist whose work discusses the discovery of specific genes linked to behavioural traits such as anxiety, thrill seeking and homosexuality; appear to prove that we are hardwired to behave the way we do. We come in large part ready-made from the factory. 1998

Hamer, Dean

The God Gene — How Faith Is Hardwired Into Our Genes

Dr. Hamer is a very well known geneticist, author of The Science of Desire, and Living With Our Genes, and other books and articles. He has been able to show that for many people, there is a genetic predisposition towards spirituality. October, 2005

Hauser, Marc D.

Moral Minds — How Nature Designed Our Universal System of Right And Wrong

Dr. Hauser believes that human beings come equipped with a moral instinct, just as we come equipped with a language instinct. He draws on research from the cognitive sciences, neuroscience, anthropology, and philosophy to try to understand the mechanisms behind human morality. Very exciting book. September, 2007.

Hawkins, Jeff

On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead To The Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines

Jeff Hawkins created the Palm Pilot. He is also an expert on the brain and human intelligence. This is an incredibly interesting book that will help you understand what intelligence is and how in the future, our understanding of how the brain works will help us develop truly intelligent machines. Time Books 2005

Hertzman, Clyde, Keating Daniel

Developmental Health and the Wealth of Nations – Social, Biological and Educational Dynamics

This book describes the effects of the social environment on human development. It outlines the importance of early experience upon brain and behavioural development. It outlines ways that schools and communities can develop new kinds of learning environments to foster intellectual growth. It discusses the gradients in society – the differences between the services available for the rich and the poor, and how these impact the society later in life. 1999

Hilts, Philip J.

Memory’s Ghost The Strange Tale of Mr. M and the Nature of Memory

This is the story of Henry M. who had an operation on his brain to stop his problems with epilepsy. The operation cured the epilepsy but ever since that day in 1953, Henry M. has been unable to put new information into long term memory. This operation helped brain scientists to discover the importance of the hippocampus and amygdala in memory. This is an extremely interesting book for all of those of you interested in memory. 1995 (Henry Molaison died on December 2, 2008 at the age of 82.)

Hood, Bruce M.

The Science of Superstition – How The Developing Brain Creates Supernatural Beliefs. Harper Publishers 2009

Horstman, Judith

The Scientific American Day In The Life Of Your Brain — A 24-Hour Journal of What’s Happening In Your Brain As You Sleep, Dream, Wake Up, Eat, Work, Play, Fight, Love, Worry, Compete, Hope and Make Important Decisions, Age and Change

Why does your brain have folds, Why is 6am till noon prime time for heart attacks and strokes? Why pets are good for your brain, how loneliness can hurt you, why friends can be more important than family when it comes to prolonging healthy life, and many more topics are covered in this book. How your brain helps your job kill you. (stress) This is a terrific book. Wiley, Scientific American, 2009

Howard, Pierce J.

The Owner’s Manual For The Brain – Everyday Applications from Brain Research

This is an excellent book for students of all ages. It is filled with very practical things you can do to increase your intelligence, improve memory and learn how to learn. July, 2006

Howard-Jones, Paul

Introducing Neuroeducational Research —Neuroscience, Education and the Brain, From Contexts to Practice

Jensen, Eric

Brain Based Learning: The New Paradigm of Teaching

This book looks at the classroom implications of recent brain research – practical suggestions. Corwin Press, 2008

Johnson, Steven

Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Science of Everyday Life

Very clearly written, this book gives you insights into the emotional brain, memory, etc. He had MRI tests done and gives a personal account of the experience of learning about his own brain. May 05

Kandel, Eric

In Search of Memory: The Emergency of a New Science of Mind

Dr. Kandel won the Nobel Prize for his work on memory. This book will help you learn a great deal about memory. It will also help you to gain insights into how a scientist goes about researching the brain. Incredibly interesting book. 2007

Langer, Ellen J.

The Power of Mindful Learning

This book discusses learning in a very interesting way. She discusses attention and attention deficit disorder and her research in helping people with this problem. Includes – linear versus mindful problem solving, a new look at forgetting, the hazards of rote memorization, etc. 1998

Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility

Talks about the power of mindfulness in health matters. This is an excellent book for anyone involved in the medical fields including long term care nursing or anyone with aging parents. For a printout of the first chapter, go

LeDoux, Joseph

Synaptic Self — How We Become Who We Are

This is an update on The Emotional Brain. He is an incredibly interesting writer. Synapses are the spaces between neurons. They are the channels through which we think, imagine, feel and act. They enable each of us to function as a single integrated individual – a synaptic self – from moment to moment, year to year. 2002

Medina, John

Brain Rules — 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School

This book includes a CD that outlines these principles. – Entertaining, interesting. The book has the usual information about how exercise, sleep, stress, etc. are related to learning and memory. Very worthwhile book. Pear Press 2008

Mathews, Jay

Work Hard, Be Nice- How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America

At a TED conference, Bill Gates recommended this book to everyone. In fact, he gave everyone at the conference a copy of it. His foundation has been funding educational research and reform and he really saw a lot of hope in the approach of these two teachers. It is an inspiring story of incredible dedication and insight. Algonquin Books, 2009.

Pink, Daniel H.

Drive — The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Riverhead Books, 2009

Anyone interested in leadership, teaching or parenting will find this book on motivation incredibly useful and fascinating. Pink has a video on that will give you a good preview of the book.

Pinkner, Steven

The Better Angels Of Our Nature — Why Violence Has Declined Viking Press, 2011

This book is full of fascinating ideas. The murder rate in medieval Europe was 30 times as high as it is today. Violence is down in the world. (The reporting of violence is up 600% so it is difficult for a lot of people to believe this.) He explains why violence has declined and how we can continue to create an even safer world. Everyone, particularly politicians should read this.

The Blank Slate — The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Pinker explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional and political aspects. He discusses how many people have denied the existence of human nature by embracing three linked dogmas: The Blank Slate (the mind has no innate traits), the Noble Savage (people are born good and corrupted by society), and the Ghost in the Machine (each of us has a soul that makes choices free from biology). Pinker claims that each dogma carries a moral burden, so their defenders have engaged in desperate tactics to discredit the scientists who are now challenging them. 2002

How the Mind Works

Pinker answers such questions as – Why do fools fall in love? Why does the thought of eating worms seem disgusting? Why do men challenge each other to duels and murder their ex-wives? Why are children bratty? Where does religion come from, etc? This is a very witty and entertaining book that has been on the best seller list. 1997

The Language Instinct – How the Mind Creates Language

Pinker believes we all have an instinct for language. Great book. 2007

Posner, Michael I. and Rothbart, Mary K.

Educating the Human Brain

This is an excellent book that lays out the connections between neuroscience and education in a way that is very interesting and useful to teachers. 2007

Quartz, S., Sejnovski, T.

Liars, Lovers and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are

Why do we live together, love, kill and sometimes lay down our lives for others? This book will give you some answers to a lot of fascinating questions. In the last chapter the authors discuss September 11 and the lessons we can learn from that experience. George Bush should read this chapter (or have someone read it to him.) Morrow Books, New York, 2002

Ramachandran, V.S.

The Tell Tale Brain — A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human W.W. Norton, 2011

Chapters include the following:  Phantom Limbs and Plastic Brains, Seeing and Knowing, Loud Colors and Hot Babes: Synesthesia; The Neurons That Shaped Civilization, Where is Steven? – The Riddle of Autism, The Power of Babble – The Evolution of Language, An Ape With A Soul – How Introspection Evolved, etc.

The Man With The Phantom Twin: Adventures in the Neuroscience of the Human Brain

Dr. Ramachandran is one of the world’s experts on mirror neurons, phantom limbs, etc. He is an excellent writer. You may want to have a look at his Nova Video as well entitled Secrets of the Mind Nova 2007

A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness, From Imposter Poodles to Purple Numbers

One of the very hot topics in brain research and education today is human consciousness. What does it mean to be conscious? Ramachandran is an excellent author who explains highly complex neuroscience in a very clear, entertaining way. He was named by Newsweek one of the 100 people to watch in the 21st. Century. 2005

Restak, Richard

Think Smart — A Neuroscientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance Riverhead Books, 2009

The Playful Brain — The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind

(Released December, 2010)

Brain: The Complete Mind

This book is written by Richard Restak and published by National Geographic so the writing and the illustrations are incredible.  2009

Think Smart: A Neuroscientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance

This is excellent for learner’s of all ages. April 30, 2009

The Naked Brain: How the Emerging Neurosociety is Changing How We Live, Work and Love September 26, 2006

Poe’s Heart and the Mountain Climber: Exploring the Effect Of Anxiety On Our Brains and Our Culture 2005

The New Brain: How The Modern Age Is Rewiring Your Mind

Once again, Restak has done an incredible job of taking highly complex ideas and making them very clear to readers who do not have a background in neurology. He explains his concerns about how violent images seen by children and adults day after day on television, in the newspapers and magazines, video games, etc. are changing out minds, desensitizing us and may be creating a society that will be very different than the one we have today. This is a book all parents and teachers should read. 2004

The Secret Life of the Brain

Another excellent book by Restak. This is the companion volume to the PBS television series. He has chapters on the brains of babies, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Dana Press 2001

Mysteries of the Mind

This book by Restak is published by National Geographic. It has incredible photographs and Restak’s usual incredibly clear explanations of the brain. Chapters include the following: genes and the brain, vive la difference, consciousness and cognition, realms of memory, mechanics of emotion, madness, depression and disease, addition and treatment, etc. Excellent book. 2000

Older and Wiser — How to Maintain Peak Mental Ability for As Long As You Live

In this book, Restak discusses the ten factors that are important if we are to age successfully and keep your mental faculties well up into your elder years. These include regular physical activity, intellectual curiosity and maintaining a strong social network. Discusses 30 ways we can increase our intelligence as we age. 1997

Rock, David

Your Brain At Work  — Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus and Working Smarter All Day Long

The author is a leadership coach who has lots of great advice for leaders and workers on how to use brain science to increase effectiveness, health and productivity. Highly recommended by Warren Bennis and Stephen Covey. Harper-Collins, 2009

Rose, Steven

The Future of the Brain – The Promise and Perils of Tomorrow’s Neuroscience

Rose asks some tough questions about brain research and where we should go in the future. He examines future developments – smart pills, brain repair, mind-reading, selection of characteristics before birth and looks at the ethical implications of the research that is taking place now. Oxford University Press 2005

Rosen, Larry

iDisorder — Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us

Rosen uses research from psychology, neuroscience, sociology, anthropology, communication and biology to show how our heavy use of technology is leading to symptoms of common psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, narcissistic personality disorder, hypochondriasis, schizoaffective and schizotypal disorders, body dysmorphia, voyeurism, addition, social phobias, autism, Asperger’s syndrome and anti-social personality disorder.

Rosen is not anti-technology, in fact he has always been an early adopter. He is concerned that our over reliance on technology is causing problems for many people. This is a fascinating book.

Palgrave Macmillan 2012

Salovey, Peter and David J. Sluyter

Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence – Educational Implications

Salovey is the person who came up with the term emotional intelligence. This book is excellent for everyone interested in educational implicaitons of the research on EQ. 1997

Sapolsky, Robert M.

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers — A Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases

This book discusses in a very interesting way, exactly what happens in your body when you experience stress particularly over a long period of time. He discusses techniques we can use to manage stress. September, 2004

Schacter, Daniel L.

The Seven Sins of Memory

An update on memory research, this book talks about 7 habits that we can get into that can really hurt our ability to remember things. Excellent book. 2002

Shermer, Michael

Science Friction: Where The Known Meets The Unknown

Shermer writes an excellent column each month in Scientific American called “Skeptic” which is really fascinating. His book The Science of Good and Evil, and Why People Believe Weird Things are also terrific. In this age where people are looking for simple answers and are ready to give up on searching for truth and settle for a good fantasy, this book is essential reading. He describes how he became a psychic for a day. He spent one day studying how to do cold readings as a psychic, how to “talk to the dead” (Sylvia Brown’s tricks) read Tarot cards, etc. then he went out and did these things and made video recordings of his “psychic readings”.  These were shown on television.  Times Books 2005

Siegel, Daniel J.

The Mindful Brain — Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being

Daniel Siegel is a psychiatrist, scientist and educator. His newest book is about meditation and the brain. Daniel Goleman says “This book is a major breakthrough in the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience. A must-read for anyone interested in the science of mind and mindfulness. Norton, 2007

Stout, Martha

The Paranoia Switch: How Terror Rewires Our Brains and Reshapes our Behaviour – How We Can Reclaim Our Courage

Dr. Stout outlines how terrorism can control nations. Chapters include “How Terrorism Works, Fear and the soul of a nation, red and blue genes, ten characteristics of fear brokers” etc. This is a fascinating book. 2007

The Sociopath Next Door

Dr. Stout claims that one in 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty. She describes how to recognize it, discusses the causes – is it nature, nurture – probably both but no one is totally sure yet. Can it be treated effectively? – not yet. She claims that psychopaths have a genetic predisposition to psychopathology. If they are raised in a “we” culture, they tend NOT to develop the condition. However, if they are raised in a “me” culture, they tend to develop into psychopaths. This is an incredibly interesting book. Broadway Books, 2005

Sousa, David A.

How the Brain Learns — A Classroom Teacher’s Guide

This is an excellent book on the latest brain research and some of its implications for classroom teachers. David discusses memory and learning, the power of transfer, thinking skills and learning, etc. One of the very interesting chapters deals with the brain and the arts. 2005

The following books by Dr. Sousa are all excellent.

How the Brain Learns To Read (2004)

How the Special Needs Brain Learns (2007)

How the Brain Learns Mathematics (2008)

How the Brain Influences Behavior (2008)

How the Gifted Brain Learns (2009)

Stein, Steven J. and Book, Howard E.

The EQ Edge — Emotional Intelligence and Your Success

Dr. Stein from Toronto has done an excellent job of describing techniques you can use to increase your EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) EQ has shown to be 4 times as important in terms of your success in life as your IQ. He has lots of interesting bits of information that you will find interesting. Do you want to know about former BC premier, Bill Vanderzalm’s EQ? See page 229. 2006

Sternberg, Robert J.

Successful Intelligence: How Practical and Creative Intelligence Determines Success In Life

Sternberg, who wrote The Triarchic Mind, discusses two types of intelligence – inert and successful. Inert is the type of intelligence IQ tests measure. Successful intelligence is a measure of your creative and practical intelligence. He discusses why creative and practical intelligence may have nothing to do with your IQ. He explains how you can activate your “successful” intelligence and make it work for you. 1997

Sternberg is one of the world’s leading scientists on intelligence, creativity, relationships, and wisdom. He has written over 900 articles and books on these topics. He is an excellent writer. Other books by Sternberg include:

Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. (2003)

Chapter 2, Beliefs that Make Smart People Dumb will give you a lot of insight into why smart people can be so stupid. There is a whole chapter on Bill and Monica. Sternberg is one of the world’s leading authorities on intelligence and wisdom. This is a great book. Yale University Press, 2002

Teaching for Successful Intelligence: To increase Student learning and Achievement (2007)

Wisdom, Intelligence and Creativity Synthesized 2007

The New Psychology of Love (2008)

Strauch, Barbara.

The Primal Teen — What the New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us About Our Kids

It is not just hormones that explain teenage behaviour. New discoveries about dopamine and other neurotransmitters are helping us to understand what is happening in the minds of teenagers. The teenage brain does not fully wire up until they are about 25. 2003.

The Secret Life Of The Grown-Up Brain — The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind

Your smartest years are yet ahead. This is a great book for anyone who has worried about whether or not they are going down hill as they reach middle age.  One chapter is entitled “The best brains of our lives — slower but so much better.  2010

Sweeney, Michael S.

Brain – The Complete Mind — How It Develops, How It Works, and How To Keep It Sharp

As with all National Geographic books, this is incredibly well written, fascinating and beautifully illustrated. Read this. Every page is filled with incredibly interesting facts and ideas. National Geographic 2009

Sylwester, Robert

The Child’s Brain: The Need For Nurture

This is a companion volume to Bob’s earlier book, The Adolescent Brain — Reaching for Autonomy. The first few chapters include updated information on the biology of the child’s brain and the last part of the book deals with how the child interacts with the environment and the influences on the child’s brain from that environment. Bob’s incredible ability to use metaphors and analogies and non-technical language to explain highly complex ideas makes this book understandable and useful to everyone.

Corwin Press, 2010

The Adolescent Brain — Reaching for Autonomy

Bob is an award winning author who has an amazing ability to take highly complex scientific research and make it clear and useful to people in education. This book will help parents, teachers and others who work with teenagers to understand why they slam doors, forget to phone home, take part in risky behaviour, etc. It will also help you find ways in which you can help them to survive the teenage years and how you as a parent or teenager can survive with them. February, 2007

How To Explain A Brain — An Educator’s Handbook To Brain Terms and Cognitive Processes

This is a very easy to understand explanation of the various parts of the brain and the processes that take place in the brain. This is a very useful book for teachers, parents, leaders, etc. who wish to learn more about the brain but don’t have a background in neurology or biology. It contains very clear diagrams as well. Excellent book. Corwin Press December 2004.

A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom: Applying Biological Research to Classroom Management

Dr. Bob Sylwester, once again, takes complex scientific research and makes it very interesting and easy to understand. He believes that information on the emotions/attention mechanisms of the brain can help us understand how to handle issues in classroom management. Excellent book. 2003

A Celebration of Neurons – An Educator’s Guide to the Human Brain

Dr. Sylwester is one of the leading authorities on education and the human brain. This very clearly written book discusses the implications of a lot of the brain research these other books discuss. Excellent book. 1995

Student Brains, School Issues – A Collection of Articles

This is a collection of articles on the importance of emotions, biological and technological perspectives on intelligence and new perspectives on computational thought processes. An excellent resource for teachers. 1998

Vaughn, Lewis

The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Things

This is one of the best books I have ever seen on critical thinking. It has excellent examples of all of the common problems people have with reasoning. 2007

The Power of Critical Thinking (Canadian Edition) 2010

Willis, Judy

Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning

Willis is a neurologist and classroom teacher who uses her understanding of neurology to explain how we should teach so the brain can learn. Topics include Memory, Learning and Test Taking Success, Strategies to Captivate Students’ Attention, How Stress and Emotion Affect Learning, Assessment that Builds Dendrites.  Excellent ideas.  Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, Va. 2006

How Your Child Learns Best: Brain Friendly Strategies You Can Use to Ignite Your Child’s Learning and Increase School Success

Dr. Willis gives lots of ideas on how to help your child learn to read, do math, etc. Very practical and clearly written for parents and teachers. 2008

Other books by Dr. Willis

Teaching The Brain To Read (2008)

Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative and Challenging (2009)

Wolf, Maryanne

Proust and the Squid — The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

Reading is one of the most difficult and influential things we have learned to do. Humans only invented reading a few thousand years ago. This fascinating book traces the history of how we learned to read and the incredible importance of this ability. Very useful for anyone who reads or teaches people to read. Harper, 2007

Wolfe, Patricia

Brain Matters — Translating Research into Classroom Practice

Pat Wolfe does an excellent job of making very complex brain research easy to understand. She includes many practical examples of how to apply this research to classroom instruction. Excellent book. 2001

Building the Reading Brain (Pre K-3)

Pat Wolfe and Pamela Nevills (2009)

For a list of websites go to:

Make sure you go to

(incredible video resource for instructors – Creative Commons License)

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