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Super Brain: Unleashing the explosive power of your mind to maximize health, happiness and spiritual well-being (Anglais) Broché – 8 novembre 2012

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A Golden Age for the Brain

What do we ­really know about the human brain? In the 1970s and 1980s, when the authors gained their training, the honest answer was “very little.” There was a saying circulating back then: Studying the brain was like putting a stethoscope on the outside of the Astrodome to learn the rules of football.

Your brain contains roughly 100 billion nerve cells forming anywhere from a trillion to perhaps even a quadrillion connections called synapses. These connections are in a constant, dynamic state of remodeling in response to the world around you. As a marvel of nature, this one is minuscule and yet stupendous.

Everyone stands in awe of the brain, which was once dubbed “the ­three-­pound universe.” And rightly so. Your brain not only interprets the world, it creates it. Everything you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell would have none of those qualities without the brain. Whatever you experience ­today—­your morning coffee, the love you feel for your family, a brilliant idea at ­work—­has been specifically customized solely for you.

Immediately we confront a crucial issue. If your world is unique and customized for you and you alone, who is behind such remarkable creativity, you or the brain itself? If the answer is you, then the door to greater creativity is flung open. If the answer is your brain, then there may be drastic physical limitations on what you are able to achieve. Maybe your genes are holding you back, or toxic memories, or low ­self-­

esteem. Maybe you fall short because of limited expectations that have contracted your awareness, even though you don’t see it happening.

The facts of the case could easily tell both stories, of unlimited potential or physical limitation. Compared with the past, today science is amassing new facts with astonishing speed. We have entered a golden age of brain research. New breakthroughs emerge every month, but in the midst of such exciting advances, what about the individual, the person who depends upon the brain for everything? Is this a golden age for your brain?

We detect an enormous gap between brilliant research and everyday reality. Another medical school saying from the past comes to mind: Each person typically uses only 10 percent of their brain. Speaking literally, ­that’s not true. In a healthy adult, the brain’s neural networks operate at full capacity all the time. Even the most sophisticated brain scans available would show no detectable difference between Shakespeare writing a soliloquy from Hamlet and an aspiring poet writing his first sonnet. But the physical brain is not nearly the whole story.

To create a golden age for your brain, you need to use the gift nature has given you in a new way. It’s not the number of neurons or some magic inside your gray matter that makes life more vital, inspiring, and successful. Genes play their part, but your genes, like the rest of the brain, are also dynamic. Every day you step into the invisible firestorm of electrical and chemical activity that is the brain’s environment. You act as leader, inventor, teacher, and user of your brain, all at once.

As leader, you hand out the day’s orders to your brain.

As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that ­didn’t exist yesterday.

As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.

As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order.

In these four roles lies the whole difference between the everyday ­brain—­let’s dub it the baseline ­brain—­and what we are calling super brain. The difference is immense. Even though you have not related to the brain by thinking What orders should I give today? or What new pathways do I want to create? ­that’s precisely what you are doing. The customized world that you live in needs a creator. The creator isn’t your brain; it’s you.

Super brain stands for a fully aware creator using the brain to maximum advantage. Your brain is endlessly adaptable, and you could be performing your fourfold ­role—­leader, inventor, teacher, and ­user—­with far more fulfilling results than you now achieve.

Leader: The orders you give are not just command prompts on a computer like “delete” or “scroll to end of page.” Those are mechanical commands built into a machine. Your orders are received by a living organism that changes every time you send an instruction. If you think I want the same bacon and eggs I had yesterday, your brain ­doesn’t change at all. If instead you think What will I eat for breakfast today? I want something new, suddenly you are tapping into a reservoir of creativity. Creativity is a living, breathing, ever new inspiration that no computer can match. Why not take full advantage of it? For the brain has the miraculous ability to give more, the more you ask of it.

Let’s translate this idea into how you relate to your brain now and how you could be relating. Look at the lists below. Which do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I don’t ask myself to behave very differently today than I did yesterday.

I am a creature of habit.

I don’t stimulate my mind with new things very often.

I like familiarity. It’s the most comfortable way to live.

If I’m being honest, there’s boring repetition at home, work, and in my relationships.

Super Brain

I look upon every day as a new world.

I pay attention not to fall into bad habits, and if one sets in, I can break it fairly easily.

I like to improvise.

I abhor boredom, which to me means repetition.

I gravitate to new things in many areas of my life.

Inventor: Your brain is constantly evolving. This happens individually, which is unique to the brain (and one of its deepest mysteries). The heart and liver that you were born with will be essentially the same organs when you die. Not the brain. It is capable of evolving and improving throughout your lifetime. Invent new things for it to do, and you become the source of new skills. A striking theory goes under the slogan “ten thousand hours,” the notion being that you can acquire any expert skill if you apply yourself for that length of time, even skills like painting and music that were once assigned only to the talented. If you’ve ever seen Cirque du Soleil, you might have assumed that those astonishing acrobats came from circus families or foreign troupes. In fact, every act in Cirque du Soleil, with few exceptions, is taught to ordinary people who come to a special school in Montreal. At one level, your life is a series of skills, beginning with walking, talking, and reading. The mistake we make is to limit these skills. Yet the same sense of balance that allowed you to toddle, walk, run, and ride a bicycle, given ten thousand hours (or less), can allow you to cross a tightrope strung between two skyscrapers. You are asking very little of your brain when you stop asking it to perfect new skills every day.

Which one do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I can’t ­really say that I am growing as much as when I was younger.

If I learn a new skill, I take it only so far.

I am resistant to change and sometimes feel threatened

by it.

I don’t reach beyond what I am already good at.

I spend a good deal of time on passive things like watching television.

Super Brain

I will keep evolving my whole lifetime.

If I learn a new skill, I take it as far as I can.

I adapt quickly to change.

If I’m not good at something when I first try it, ­that’s okay. I like the challenge.

I thrive on activity, with only a modicum of down time.

Teacher: Knowledge is not rooted in facts; it is rooted in curiosity. One inspired teacher can alter a student for life by instilling curiosity. You are in the same position ­toward your brain, but with one big difference: you are both student and teacher. Instilling curiosity is your responsibility, and when it comes, you are also the one who will feel inspired. No brain was ever inspired, but when you are, you trigger a cascade of reactions that light up the brain, while the incurious brain is basically asleep. (It may also be crumbling; there is evidence that we may prevent symptoms of senility and brain aging by remaining socially engaged and intellectually curious during our entire lifetime.) Like a good teacher, you must monitor errors, encourage strengths, notice when the pupil is ready for new challenges, and so on. Like a bright pupil, you must remain open to the things you don’t know, being receptive rather than ­close-­minded.

Which one do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I’m pretty settled in how I approach my life.

I am wedded to my beliefs and opinions.

I leave it to others to be the experts.

I rarely watch educational television or attend

public lectures.

It’s been a while since I felt ­really inspired.

Super Brain

I like reinventing myself.

I’ve recently changed a ­long-­held belief or opinion.

There’s at least one thing I am an expert on.

I gravitate ­toward educational outlets on television

or in local colleges.

I’m inspired by my life on a ­day-­to-­day basis.

User: There’s no owner’s manual for the brain, but it needs nourishment, repair, and proper management all the same. Certain nutrients are physical; today a fad for brain foods sends people running for certain vitamins and enzymes. But the proper nourishment for the brain is mental as well as physical. Alcohol and tobacco are toxic, and to expose your brain to them is to misuse it. Anger and fear, stress and depression also are a kind of misuse. As we write, a new study has shown that routine daily stress shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision making, correcting errors, and assessing situations. ­That’s why people go crazy in traffic snarls. It’s a routine stress, yet the rage, frustration, and helplessness that some drivers feel indicates that the prefrontal cortex has stopped overriding the primal impulses it is responsible for controlling. Time and again we find ourselves coming back to the same theme: Use your brain, don’t let your brain use you. Road rage is an example of your brain using you, but so are toxic memories, the wounds of old traumas, bad habits you can’t break, and most tragically, ­out-­of-­control addictions. This is a vastly important area to be aware of.

Which one do you identify with?

Baseline Brain

I have felt out of control recently in at least one

area of my life.

My stress level is too high, but I put up with it.

I worry about depression or am depressed.

My life can go in a direction I don’t want it to.

My thoughts can be obsessive, scary, or anxious.

Super Brain

I feel comfortably in control.

I actively avoid stressful situations by walking away

and letting go.

My mood is consistently good.

Despite unexpected events, my life is headed in

the direction I want it to go.

I like the way my mind thinks.

Even though your brain ­doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, you can use it to follow a path of growth, achievement, personal satisfaction, and new skills. Without realizing it, you are capable of making a quantum leap in how you use your brain. Our final destination is the enlightened brain, which goes beyond the four roles you play. It is a rare kind of relationship, in which you serve as the observer, the silent witness to everything the brain does. Here lies transcendence. When you are able to be the silent witness, the brain’s activity ­doesn’t enmesh you. Abiding in complete peace and silent awareness, you find the truth about the eternal questions concerning God, the soul, and life after death. The reason we believe that this aspect of life is real is that when the mind wants to transcend, the brain is ready to follow.

A New Relationship

When Albert Einstein died in 1955 at the age of ­seventy-­six, there was tremendous curiosity about the most famous brain of the twentieth century. Assuming that something physical must have created such genius, an autopsy was performed on Einstein’s brain. Defying expectations that big thoughts required a big brain, Einstein’s brain actually weighed 10 percent less than the average brain. That era was just on the verge of exploring genes, and advanced theories about how new synaptic connections are formed lay decades in the future. Both represent dramatic advances in knowledge. You can’t see genes at work, but you can observe neurons growing new axons and dendrites, the threadlike extensions that allow one brain cell to connect with another. It’s now known that the brain can form new axons and dendrites up to the last years of life, which gives us tremendous hope for preventing senility, for example, and preserving our mental capacity indefinitely. (So astounding is the brain’s ability to make new connections that a fetus on the verge of being born is forming 250,000 new brain cells per minute, leading to millions of new synaptic connections per minute.)

Yet in so saying, we are as naïve as newspaper reporters waiting eagerly to tell the world that Einstein possessed a freakish ­brain—­we still emphasize the physical. Not enough weight is given to how a person relates to the brain. We feel that without a new relationship, the brain cannot be asked to do new, unexpected things. Consider discouraged children in school. Such students existed in every classroom that all of us attended, usually sitting in the back row. Their behavior follows a sad pattern.

First the child attempts to keep up with other children. When these efforts fail, for whatever reason, discouragement sets in. The child stops trying as hard as the children who meet with success and encouragement. The next phase is acting out, making disruptive noises or pranks to attract attention. Every child needs attention, even if it is negative. The disruptions can be aggressive, but eventually the child realizes that nothing good is happening. Acting out leads to disapproval and punishment. So he enters the final phase, which is sullen silence. He makes no more effort to keep up in class. Other children mark him as slow or stupid, an outsider. School has turned into a stifling prison rather than an enriching place.

It’s not hard to see how this cycle of behavior affects the brain. We now know that babies are born with 90 percent of their brains formed and millions of connections that are surplus. So the first years of life are spent winnowing out the unused connections and growing the ones that will lead to new skills. A discouraged child, we can surmise, aborts this process. Useful skills are not developed, and the parts of the brain that fall into disuse atrophy. Discouragement is holistic, encompassing brain, psyche, emotions, behavior, and opportunities later in life. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition CD .

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Ce livre permet de revoir quelques fausses conceptions sur le fonctionnement du cerveau : oui, nous pouvons continuer de développer nos connexions à tout âge ! Il donne beaucoup de conseils pratiques sur la façon de stimuler régulièrement son cerveau pour l'utiliser à fond et aussi le préserver autant que possible du vieillissement.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5 560 commentaires
380 internautes sur 400 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Educational, Inspiring, and a Great Read! 6 novembre 2012
Par Robert Piper - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is an incredibly written book on the most important topic in all of our lives, "The Human Brain." As, the book points out if you don't use your brain, it will use you! The book gives you tools you can use right away.

Most importantly it's written by two brilliant and forward thinking scholars. The first being, Deepak Chopra, M.D. a New York Time best-selling author and author of numerous books who's known around the world for his work on the brain, mind-body connection, consciousness, spirituality, and Quantum Physics.The second, Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi a Harvard Professor who was a pioneer in Alzheimer's research and being one of the co-discoverers of the first Alzheimer's disease gene.

As quoted in the book "Every day you step into the invisible firestorm of electrical and chemical activity that is the brain's environment. You act as leader, inventor, teacher, and user of your brain, all at once.

As leader, you hand out the day's orders to your brain.
As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that didn't exist yesterday.
As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.
As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order."

I have to say that this one is greatest books I've read on the topic of the brain because the two authors go extremely in-depth into the working of the brain, and they also give you tools that you can implement into your life today.

It's broken up into three parts. Here's a very basic summary.

Which goes into great detail about the latest advancements in science that explain how the brain functions. It also talks about the five myths of the brain.

This part gives you information and knowledge to literally work on changing your brain from negatives states of mind to positive states of mind.

I thoroughly enjoyed this part because its goes into the biggest idea in all of science. Something to which I'm fascinating with, the question being "How does this three pound brain produce consciousness?"

I think this is an incredible book that anyone can use to increase more positive states of mind. I've read hundreds of books on the brain and I think this one is one of the best because it gives you tools on how to work on changing your brain immediately.
134 internautes sur 142 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Moms and Elders will find hope and inspiration 27 novembre 2012
Par Ohio Reader - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
Such a hopeful book for people like me who are aging, but also good for younger folks. Something I think younger mothers will love. Kids should be memorizing, memorizing, memorizing (as well as all the other stuff they do in school, of course). It helps develop the brain. Tanzi (PhD) is a cutting edge experimental neurologist with boundless curiosity. Chopra (MD) is a knowledgeable gifted teacher who clearly communicates the practical applications of Tanzi's discoveries. The brain's plasticity means we can repair damage to it by THINKING as well as DOING.
Some concepts I gleaned from my reading so far.....
* Alzheimers can be reversed (depending on how advanced it is when the victim begins trying).
* music lessons, exercise, other repetitive physical activity benefits the brain,
* keeping busy and interested in life is essential to brain health,
* why keeping a pet can save your life,
* the many benefits of cultivating your memory,
* indulging your passion increases brain power,
* mothers get smarter as they manage unpredictable households.
all confirmed by Tanzi's studies and explained by Chopra, the master teacher.

I think this book is specially important for managing the education of children and enabling older folks determined to protect their brains from further decline (it's never too late to start). If you don't have time to read this book, find somebody who has and pick their brains. It'll be good for both of you.

This is a must reread now and then to keep the information fresh in my mind (until the next edition comes out). One of this year's more important and inspiring books.
60 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Life changer - amazing! 10 septembre 2013
Par Joseph - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
At present, have experienced crises that caused emotional and physical pain off the scale, as well as brain functioning in the below normal range. Being an intelligent individual, was looking for a way to heal my brain, get it to work well again. Had tried several medications, did not do well on them, too many side effects. Was experiencing physical pain off the scale every day from stress and the crises I had gone through. I now have no physical pain related to stress -- zero. In a few short weeks, have seen improvement in memory and in all negative emotions associated with reaction to crises. I will never be the same -- in a very good way. With the instruction in this book, anticipate that not only will I return to normal for me, which is well above average brain function, but also my new normal will exceed my previous one. From instruction in this book, I have already been able to learn and accomplish new things I did not have skill to do before. This is new information just learned from studies in the recent past, very valuable to all of us as adults, as well as to parents who want to teach their children newly learned ways to make their brains work for them. Rarely have I taken time to review a book I have read, but this one has brought about so many positive results in such a short amount of time that I wanted to say, "Thank you, Dr. Tanzi, for passing this priceless information along to us."
119 internautes sur 143 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "INFORMATIVE, COMPREHENSIVE, CONCISE!" 6 novembre 2012
Par Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Bestselling author and Physician Deepak Chopra and Harvard Professor Rudolph E. Tansi, combine their wisdom and knowledge to deliver an interesting, easy-to-read guide on how to use your brain, instead of allowing your brain to use you. Through extensive research, the authors present findings on how to achieve health, spiritual growth, and happiness. In addition, the medical experts explain their findings on how the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its capabilities, and limitations. In conclusion, the authors offer important information on what we were taught in the past, and new evidence through research of what we learned in present time. The interesting topics discussed are self-awareness, conscious intention, spiritual insights, and much more. Furthermore, fascinating findings are presented on anxiety, obesity, and depression. Overall, 'Super Brain' is interesting, educational, and enjoyable. Highly Recommended!
35 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Reviews need at least 1 star- DEEPAK CHOPRA IS DRUNK 16 février 2014
Par Guy Socrates - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Please allow me to be very concise and to the point. This book is a fraudulent waste of brain mass. It will not help you develop any "Superbrain" not even that of ants. It might help you publish some future rubbish and have it sell like hot cake. In all likelihood, it was not written by Deepak Chopra but is sold by his commercial machinery that specialize in writing and promoting his great books. I have read this painfully stupid book from cover to cover. Only the Lord knows how many brain cells I destroyed and mowed down in the process. Look at me now, I have to go for rehab.

At the end of the book I have lifted a quote from Deepak Chopra himself and here it is, just so that if you want to waste your life reading this nonsense, you have no one to blame but yourself. Here it is:


So, there you have a book written by at least three women ghost-writers (unmasked), who have no idea whatsoever of what they are talking about. I even think that these women outsourced the writing of this book to some unemployable mob of freelance writers, and then rag-tagged it together a collage of the worst bits of useless information. This Mash-up has such "new" information like, "do not harm any living thing" or things that your mother taught you from the age of two onward.

Do not buy this book. So low is the expectation of Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi of the American reader that they are willing to market a blatant useless and fraudulent book without more than just a bit of useful or important information, counting instead of the support of ghost-writers, a marketing machinery that includes shameless professional reviewers even before the 1st reader gets around to reading the "book" or Mash-up of useless information.

This Mash-up is divided into three sections:

Part 1: Developing your greatest gift

commentary: This is the part of the Mash-up that made me buy it, thinking it was an actual book. This part was at least supervised by Rudolph Tanzi because he is a neurology professor at Harvard, yet one would expect more. Say he was a regular guy who did his research then we would think, "Oh okay, some useful information here" but as his credentials are lengthy, this is such a letdown. In any case, I gained some insight from him so I can give it to you here & don't waste your time reading it: Studies have shown that the greatest finding this decade is that the brain can repair itself, can form neural networks to compensate when things go wrong, and can even form new brain. The size of the brain also does not matter very much, as there are studies showing that people who have hydrocephalus (water in the brain) can actually have very normal development with little brain mater. One of the things one need to do to keep your brain active is to engage it, exercise it and be adaptable as an outlook towards life and you will have your brain serving you for a long time. There you have it!

Part 2: Making Reality:

The rest of the Mash-up is a meandering tunnel into a dark alley of mental images of the unimaginable that borders on the paranormal.
Open to any page and you will not believe your eyes. Okay let me open to a random page and I promise you, I am not kidding, but here are examples:

page 156: "If you don't develop your intellect, it remains stuck in rudimentary thinking. This leads to superstition and falling prey to all kinds of faulty arguments. You become the pawn of influences from outside yourself...Your intellect is part of your birthright, which includes an insatiable need for meaning. You inherited intuition out of a different need that is just as powerful: the need for values. Right or wrong, good or bad, so basic that the brain is wired for them..."

(Okay, lets try another random page).
page 176: "To indulge in even one of these pointless kinds of suffering makes you far more vulnerable to bad things in general, since victimization, once it becomes a habit in the brain, restricts your responses. Unconsciously, you decide in every situation that you are chosen to take the brunt of trouble. That's a very dangerous and powerful expectation."
(Or common sense!)

Part 3: Mystery and Promise

In this part, the author is arguing with the reader as usual, "blabbing" about what one ought to do to be "good". He presents an idea of a God that is nice and universal and wants us to think like Buddha. How this grandiose imagery helps you to get a "Superbrain" is left to the imagination (no pun intended). In the last few pages, there is a passage one about "Consciousness", and there I find Rudolph Tanzi writing style again, but it does not turn things around in any way or save this book.

In summary, the writing shows different personalities; the theme is schizophrenic; the details rambling; the mainpoints straying from the topic in almost every other sentence.

I am sure I have read a few worse books than this, but please do not buy this book.

Anyway, that's the Mash-up! Good luck!
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