Thursday, August 21, 2014

Buddha's Brain, by Rick Hanson

Imagine you're curious about "new age" concepts of meditation or positive imaging, but you're an analytical empiricist for whom touchy feely books about Buddhism or meditation feel too far out.  Then this book is for you.   Dr. Hanson is a (PhD) neuropsychologist, and his co-author Dr. Mendius (MD) is a neurologist.  Their book takes an approach of mapping a physiological and neurological view of the brain to behavioral changes that can benefit the reader.

The introduction of concepts like breath awareness and meditation are so subtle that I can't imagine anyone would be put off by them.

My only objection is the authors' promotion of supplements (vitamins) at the end of the book; recent reputable studies[1] imply that there is no value to using any of these.

[1] Guallar E, Stranges S, Mulrow C, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd. Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Dec 17;159(12):850-1. Erratum in: Ann Intern Med. 2014 Jan 21;160(2):143. PubMed  PMID: 24490268. Retrieved from

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

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