My quest to go beyond brain training and take control of my mind
Published by Scribe in January 2017
In the 1970s, only fitness fanatics went to the gym. Now a twice-weekly visit is the norm for anyone who wants to keep their body healthy. A similar revolution is happening in brain fitness and training. But there’s a problem: no one knows exactly what they should be doing.
OVERRIDE chronicles Caroline Williams’s year-long mission to find out. She investigates how the latest studies are showing that brain games don’t actually do that much to make you smarter, and tries to square that finding with the reality of brain plasticity – that the brain adapts physically as we learn something new.
Visiting the labs of top neuroscientists and volunteering herself as a guinea pig in neuroscience studies, she challenges researchers to make real world changes to her own brain. She seeks to improve on her own weaknesses, such as a limited attention span and a tendency to worry more than is healthy, and then branches out into more mysterious areas such as creativity and perception of time. Trying methods from high-tech electrical brain stimulation to the ancient art of meditation, she finds out what, if anything, neuroscience can do for us.