Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A Million Things to Ask a Neuroscientist


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions

Mike Tranter PhD will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

See below or Click on "read more" to sign up for the Giveaway.  

A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist answers some of the most asked questions about the brain, making the science fun and accessible to everyone. Inside, you will journey through some of the most interesting and strange things that our brain does every single day.

Have you always wanted to know just what a memory actually is, or why we dream? What is our consciousness? Why do some people seem to ‘click’ with others? And can our brain really multi-task?

read and excerpt...

Have you ever been standing at the top of a tall building or cliff edge and had a sudden but brief urge to jump? You have no real thought of actually doing it, and you are not depressed, suicidal, or otherwise distressed, but that urge appears nonetheless. As it turns out, neuroscience has a name for such an occurrence, high places phenomenon, sometimes termed the call to the void, and it is actually very normal and common. There are also reports of impulses to jump in front of a train, stick a hand in a fire, or turn a steering wheel into traffic. Thankfully, the person generally doesn't follow through, and although most accounts of this phenomenon are anecdotal, there is one team of scientists in Florida, USA, who decided to take another look. The research team asked 431 students about such episodes in their personal lives, and a surprising 55% acknowledged that they have experienced them at some stage in their lives.

 Science has revealed to us that high place phenomenon is possibly the result of a split-second delay between two opposing brain signals. One signal is based on our survival instinct that notices danger and tells us that we should avoid it, such as falling from a great height, or a train hitting us in the face. Another signal coming from our more logical brain tells us that we are relatively safe where we are, and there is no real threat to our survival. The resulting signals are interpreted by our brain - now somewhat confused, for it to relay this rather bizarre message and we experience the high place phenomenon. So, if you ever have a sudden impulse to jump off the top of Mount Everest, just remember that it is normal, but please don't do it anyway.

Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578861690/

about Mike Tranter PhD...
Dr Mike Tranter is from the North of England and studied how drugs work in our body, but it wasn't long before he found his true calling as a neuroscientist. After a PhD in neuroscience, he spent years in research labs all over the world, studying how the brain works. Although, it is his prominent rise as a science communicator, opening up the world of neuroscience to everybody, that he enjoys the most.

Website: https://www.aneurorevolution.com/

Instagram: @TheEnglishScientist

Buy Link:  www.aNeuroRevolution.com

more personal "stuff" about Dr. Mike Tranter...

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?

I think the bigger meaning behind the book is quite important to me. I wrote it because I am often struck by how many people think that “neuroscience is too complicated for them” or I often hear “the brain is too much for me to understand” and that simply isn’t true. I wanted to write this book because science, is for everyone. It was important that I wrote it in a way that would take any of the intimidation out of it and make learning about the brain fun and most importantly, interesting. In a way, it is dedicated to anyone who wants to challenge themselves, and dive into a world that they might not know much about. I write specifically for anyone who has never read anything about neuroscience before.

Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?

I have a small desk in a room in my apartment. What’s nice is that the desk is facing a window, which looks out over trees and in the distance, huge mountains. When it rains (and in California, it doesn’t rain much) the mountains are snow covered which makes it an even better place to write. I can sit at my desk for hours because it feels quite peaceful, and the time seems to fly by. I also have a poster in front of me, next to the window, of the universe, and specifically a nebula, an expanse of gas in the galaxy. It is quite peaceful in a way, and it makes the writing area just a little bit different.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?

I have thought about writing this book for many years. Probably around 10 years in fact. The reason I did it now, and not even further down the line was because of the social isolation during the pandemic. Because the book answers questions from the general public, I was able to use the book as a platform to reach out to people and ask about their interests in science and learning about the brain. It was perfect timing to write the book and develop myself as a science communicator. It was really great to talk to other people online and through social media, and to use their enthusiasm for science to fuel my own, for this book.

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