When I was a kid, I remember making a trip to London and visiting Foyles bookshop for the first time. In the days before book superstores, Foyles was unimaginably vast, and dense, and amazing. That was a special day. Years later, there aren’t books piled everywhere, the maze of shelves and rooms has been untangled, and it’s been updated: you no longer have to get a little green ticket from an attendant before paying. It’s still got its charm, one of the best (and biggest) book selections in London, and my favourite cafe in the centre–one of the few cafes to have free wifi, good coffee, heavy wooden tables, and jazz.
What I’m coming round to is that Tom and I will be speaking about Mind Hacks at Foyles on Wednesday, March 23rd, and it’s enormously exciting to be talking in a place with such history. If you’re in London, you should come along (it’s at 6.30pm, after work, in the Gallery on the 2nd floor). It’ll be great fun–we’re going to show off some of our favourite hacks, talk about what we learn from them, and try some [gulp] audience participation in the experiments too.
Mind Hacks at Foyles:
Ever wondered why people have their “special mug” for the morning cuppa? It’s all to do with training and the reward of caffeine. And would you like to know how to cheer yourself up by manhandling your face, or why faded jeans do wonders for your legs, or that each of us is blind for 90 minutes a day? The answers to these can be found in cognitive neuroscience, and at “Mind Hacks at Foyles.”
“Mind Hacks,” the book, requires no specialist knowledge and takes you on a tour through 100 facets of the machinery of our brain, from psychology tricks known centuries to the latest high-technology research. Using experiments and unusual demos (we call them “hacks”) we examine vision, motor skills, memory and how we make decisions–the brain’s moment-by-moment workings that make up everyday life.
In “Mind Hacks at Foyles,” Tom Stafford & Matt Webb demonstrate (live!) happiness, jeans and optical tricks to see how the brain responds, and in the process learn a little bit more about how this fearsomely complex organ works.
No previous neuroscience experience necessary! Please bring a pen – and your brain – if you’d like to play along.