Pieces of Mind: 21 Short Walks Around the Human Brain

(Reprinted in the U.S. and U.K. as A Very Short Tour of the Mind)

Why do we remember faces but not names? If your brain was cut in half would you suffer more than a splitting headache? Does your dog remember where it buried its bone? And do we really only use 10 percent of our brains? In 21 short walks around the human mind, Michael Corballis answers these questions—and more.

The human mind is arguably the most complex organ in the universe. Modern computers might be faster, and whales might have larger brains, but neither can match the sheer intellect or capacity for creativity that we humans enjoy. In this book, Michael introduces us to what we’ve learned about the intricacies of the human brain over the last 50 years.

Leading us through behavioral experiments and neuroscience, cognitive theory, and Darwinian evolution with his trademark wit and wisdom, Michael punctures a few hot-air balloons (‘You only use 10 per cent of your brain!’ ‘Unleash the creativity of your right brain!’) and explains just what we know—and don’t know—about our own minds. From language to standing upright, composing music to bullshitting, he covers some of the fascinating activities and capabilities that go toward making us human.

At one time or another, we’ve all wished that we could get inside someone else’s head. Here’s how.

Pieces of Mind has been translated into Korean, Serbian, Mandarin, and Danish.