How the Brain is Physically Changed by Winning and Losing
By Ian H. Robertson
Thomas Dunne Books, $25.99, 306 pages
Why is someone who wins a showdown more likely to win again? This exciting and informational book is a compilation of the latest research into the workings of the human brain. An accumulation of startling facts brings to light the chemical processes that influence feelings and emotions, all told in an easy to follow format. With amazing results, research volunteers were asked questions and given tests using FMRIs to determine which parts of their brains chemically reacted. Interspersed with interesting stories of individuals, some famous and some historical, the book gives insight into how attaining power changed their views of themselves and others.
Comparable to a college text, it includes an extensive bibliography, recommends further readings, and contains a subject index in the back. The knowledge the reader comes away with is stunning and can be life-changing. Suddenly, the behavior of people who influence your life can be understood with a new clarity. And knowledge about how to influence that behavior is extremely useful as well.
Neuroscientist and trained clinical psychologist Ian H. Robertson is a professor of psychology at Trinity College Dublin. He has more than 200 published books and articles in his field, including the works Mind Sculpture and Opening the Mind’s Eye.
The subject of how we are shaped by power, for good or bad, is fascinating. The vast trove of knowledge gained from this book is well worth a first and even a second read.
Reviewed by Fran Byram