The brain, according to current research, is not some kind of automatic machine that works independently of its user. In fact, the circuitry of the brain actually changes according to how one uses it. Our brains are continuously developing new capacities and refinements—or losing them, depending upon how we use them. Gerald Hüther takes us on a fascinating tour of the brain's development—from one-celled organisms to worms, moles, apes, and on to us humans—showing how we truly are what we think: our behavior directly affects our brain capacity. And the behavior that promotes the fullest development of the brain is behavior that balances emotion and intellect, dependence and autonomy, openness and focus, and ultimately expresses itself in such virtues as truthfulness, considerateness, sincerity, humility, and love.
Hüther's user's-manual approach is humorous and engaging, with a minimum of technical language, yet the book's message is profound: the fundamental nature of our brains and nervous systems naturally leads to our continued growth in intelligence and humanity.