The Extended Mind

By Annie Murphy Paul,

Book cover of The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

Book description

A New York Times Editors' Choice
A Washington Post Best Nonfiction Book of 2021
A New York Times Notable Book

A bold new book reveals how we can tap the intelligence that exists beyond our brains—in our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships

Use your head.
That’s what we tell…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Extended Mind as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I can’t stop thinking about this book. The premise: Our brain is a biological, evolved organ that’s very different from a computer. People who can tune into their bodies can more effectively use their brains. Annie cites studies of Wall Street traders who seem to make more money when they’re more “interoceptively” attuned — meaning, when they’re better at reading their own body signals. In other words, when I use my body, my surroundings, and my relationships to “think outside the brain,” I can make better decisions than people who don’t know how to do the same.

As a physician who cares for and studies persons living with diseases that cause a person to “lose their mind,” I find this book to be revelatory. Paul offers a thorough and meticulously documented account of what our mind is and how it exists outside of the borders of our hard heads. The wealth of material that Paul consistently presents with clarity is not about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but it will provoke you to think about how to live with or care for the extended mind of a person living with dementia.

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