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The Body Has a Mind of Its Own    by Sandra Blakeslee & Matthew Blakeslee order for
Body Has a Mind of Its Own
by Sandra Blakeslee
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Why are video games addictive? Why do you still feel fat after losing weight? How can practicing your favorite sport in your imagination improve your game? Science writers Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee attempt to answer these questions and many, many more in their book, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own.

Using entertaining examples and evidence, these authors show how our view of ourselves can be easily modified. Just like road maps, they suggest that people have body maps that represent all aspects of their self, inside and out. These maps create your physical and emotional awareness, how you feel individually and in your surrounding world. They believe that these maps are changeable and that by tapping into them you can do almost anything better, from coping with stress to dancing a waltz.

The Blakeslees divide their book into ten chapters. They begin with a chapter on body maps called Maps, Maps, Everywhere and end with an afterword titled The You-ness of You. In between, they cover entertaining and fascinating subjects, answering questions such as why yawning is contagious and why you seek elbow room. The pages of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own are filled with illustrations, anecdotes, and interesting tricks you can use to reconfigure your own body sense. It provides an overview of new discoveries about body image and the elasticity of the brain.

While the book may sound technical, despite its basis in science the information is practical and easily understandable. It explores unknown senses and introduces the idea that the brain can be trained to increase bodily awareness to one's benefit. The Blakeslees have written an intriguing book that, if nothing else, might stretch the mind a bit.

Listen to a podcast interview with the authors at

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