Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey

I asked and received this book through NetGalley for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. The book is expected to be published on September 9, 2014

First impression

And it's when the brain lives with the studied material that it reveals its strengths and weaknesses-its limitations and immense possibilities-as a learning machine.

This is a non-fiction, full of facts little book that will give you an update on the past and most recent theories about learning. While it remains close to the research, the author does a wonderful job in vulgarizing the subject and then showing what we can use from this research and how in order to help us in our own learning experience.

Final thoughts

With simple diagrams and even fun exercises, the author takes you on a review of how our understanding of learning has changed in a fairly short time. How the brain responds to different methods of studying and how the ways we learn things affect the way we will later be able to call back such information.

Without lingering too much on neurological terminology the author manages to present the structure of the brain and how this "learning machine" storages all the information we give it, even if it is for a short period of time. He also brushes on education and psychology theories of learning and even with the role of sleep as a tool for retention of knowledge.

Because this was an ARC version, not yet ready for publication, some of the images were not available on my version, which made the experience to be cut short, and the footnotes seemed to be misplaced so sometimes wouldn't know what a certain sentence was related to.

If you are looking for an introductory book to the subject, this seems to be a good option. Very good work on the vulgarization and it gives you plenty of references if you feel like continuing your reading.

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