We have learned more about the functioning of the brain in the last forty years than we have in the last 400. The use of advanced imaging machines has allowed us to see how our words, thoughts and emotions play across that collection of neurons that makes up the human brain. I have reviewed several books describing brain function and its effect on our behavior. In fact, we have become brain-centric in our approach.
In this book, Annie Paul makes the argument that who we are is so much more than just a brain. Using research-based narrative, she makes the case that we extend our thinking by the use of our bodies, our devices and our surroundings. The book is organized from the micro to the macro, beginning with the brain and ending with the expansiveness of our surroundings. It is a brilliant and logical way to make the case.
I enjoyed the whole book, but one part stood out. As a speaker and facilitator, so much of what I did was in person. Covid drove everything to a virtual environment. All of a sudden, I had to be effective on the small screen. I was robbed of my presence, of my gestures, of portions of my humanity. In the book, she makes the case for the effectiveness of our in-person presence.
The book is full of these “a-ha” moments. It is well worth the read.