Suggestible You: Placebos, False Memories, Hypnosis, and the Power of Your Astonishing Brain

Erik Vance. National Geographic, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4262-1789-0
Science journalist Vance takes an inspired journey into the profound and often unnoticed powers of our brains. Perhaps the book’s most constant, fascinating thread is Vance’s willingness to personally investigate each topic about which he writes. Many of the studies he outlines are described through his extensive conversations with the researchers themselves. In fact, Vance’s interest in the topic of suggestion began with having been seemingly healed by Christian Science as a child—an experience that becomes a recurring theme, deserving of its own standalone memoir. But the subject of the brain’s malleability leads Vance through a range of topics beyond his past, including hypnosis, false memories, and the challenges of measuring the efficacy of drug treatments. Supplementing this diversely experiential approach are compelling chapters on the science of the brain, in which the emphasis is not on finding the answers but on exploring the questions. Vance also presents a “Rapid Induction Analgesia Procedure” (hypnosis) exercise, though this seems to require a guided experience beyond reading. Most of all, he offers an understanding of the ways in which beliefs can lead to a better life. Agent: Susan Lee Cohen, Riverside Literary Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2016
Release date: 11/08/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-3150-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-4923-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-3149-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4262-1831-6
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