Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top Brain, Bottom Brain

By Stephen M Kosslyn and G Wayne Miller

Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? Maybe you’re logical and analytical, excelling in Math and Science. Or maybe you’re artistic and creative, with a knack for music and the arts. Ideals of a simple left and right brain dichotomy have permeated pop culture for years, leading us to believe that we are either academically or artistically inclined. But this idea is taking a back seat to the theory of top and bottom brain cognitive styles.

Kosslyn and Miller’s Top Brain, Bottom Brain explores facets of the body’s most fascinating organ, providing an overview of the lobes of the brain, the mechanisms of brain function, and historical neurological theories. But if you weren’t a Neuroscience major, don’t be discouraged; Top Brain, Bottom Brain is unpretentious and completely accessible. The authors use a prose that is simple yet intelligent, describing the theory behind personality types and the products of habitually favouring the top or bottom brain. 
The book systematically debunks left and right brain theories and builds evidence for the theory of cognitive modes, culminating in a scientifically valid questionnaire to test the reader’s dominant mode. Are you a Mover, Perceiver, Stimulator, or Adaptor? Kosslyn and Miller provide novel examples and explanations for each of the four cognitive styles, stressing that they are not rooted in one’s intelligence, but are situational and based on one’s interactions with others and the environment. You might even be surprised to learn what mode you defer to when presented with unfamiliar circumstances.

Top Brain, Bottom Brain provides insight not only into our individual personalities, but the manner in which we interact with others and the implications for our personal and professional lives. This book provides inventive data on the workings of the human brain with the potential to change the way society thinks about thinking. 

- Laura Martin

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