September Book Review

Sep 09, 2015 · Dawn Mick

Have you ever wondered why you can?t remember what you ate for breakfast, but can?t forget the lyrics to a random pop song? Or have you ever felt overwhelmed by the massive amount of information received on a daily basis and wondered how you could process it all without going insane? If you have pondered any of these questions, ?The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin may provide some answers.

Levitin, the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at McGill University, explores how the brain processes, stores, and retrieves information, examining the science behind why we need to daydream and the psychology of how friends and neighbors influence our decision-making more than hard facts. Levitin offers practical advice on, among other things, how to improve decision-making for personal medical treatments (with a tangent on why medicine is as much an art as it is a science) and how to find your car keys. He profiles ?highly successful people? or HSPs, as he calls them, who organize their worlds for maximum efficiency (and it does not involve a high IQ or an excellent memory). Levitin discusses how future generations can benefit from these ideas, especially in the areas of critical thinking and information literacy. His examination of drawbacks of Wikipedia, although he supports its goal of freedom of information, is thought provoking and may cause the reader to re-consider its use as a tool.

Readers interested in neuroscience, psychology, and medicine will find this an interesting read and may quibble with some of Levitin?s assertions. Anyone who is interested in organization or ideas on how to deal with a glut of information will find this book useful and timely.?