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New faculty books: How your brain works, cycling around the world and more

New faculty books: How your brain works, cycling around the world and more

Recent and upcoming books from UW faculty include those from the Jackson School of International Studies, the Department of Psychology and the Runstad Department of…

Friday, Aug 12

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Recent and upcoming books from UW faculty include those from the Jackson School of International Studies, the Department of Psychology and the Runstad Department of Real Estate. Four recent books from University of Washington professors cover a variety of topics including neuroscience, Chinese filial piety and the history of Irvine, California. UW News talked with the authors to learn more about their recent publications.

Chantel Prat introduces you to your brain

In her new book, UW psychology professor Chantel Prat wants to make one thing clear right away: There’s no such thing as a “normal” brain. Chantel Prat “ The Neuroscience of You ,” published this month by Dutton, is the distillation of years of research by Prat into how our brains work – and a guide for the everyday person into why we think and act the way we do. Every human brain is designed differently, and it’s those differences, Prat explains, that render a traditional definition of “normal” not only irrelevant, but also inaccurate.

“I wanted to talk about differences in a different way, debunking the idea of normal as an ideal set point instead of normal as a multidimensional and variable space,” Prat said. “You can’t even define ‘normal’ without understanding the ways people vary. And within that space, ‘different’ doesn’t have to be better or worse. There’s a reason we’ve got multiple design choices when brains are engineered. Different types of brains excel in some subset of the variety of environments we put them in.”

The book […]

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