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Indre Viskontas - book author

Indre Viskontas is a sought-after science communicator across all mediums. She co-hosted the 6-episode docuseries Miracle Detectives on the Oprah Winfrey Network and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, major radio stations across the US, including several appearances on the NPR program City Arts & Lectures and The Sunday Edition on the CBC in Canada. She currently co-hosts the web series Science in Progress for Tested.com and VRV. She is also the host of the popular science podcast Inquiring Minds, which boasts more than 7 million downloads. As a working singer, she is especially interested in the intersection between art and science, particularly when it involves music, and her new podcast, Cadence: what music tells us about the mind is now available on iTunes.

Follow her on twitter: @indrevis

Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, she is affectionately known as Dr. Dre by her students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is pioneering the application of neuroscience to musical training, and at the University of San Francisco, where she is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology. She received a BSc in psychology and French literature from the University of Toronto, an MM degree in vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at UCLA.

As a scientist, Dr. Viskontas has published more than 50 original papers and chapters related to the neural basis of memory and creativity, including several seminal articles in top scientific journals. Her scientific work has been featured in Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia, Nature: Science Careers and Discover Magazine. She has also written for Mother Jones.com, American Scientist, Vitriol Magazine and other publications.

She often gives keynote talks, for organizations as diverse as Genentech, the Dallas Symphony, SXSW and Ogilvy along with frequent invited talks at conferences and academic institutions. Her 24-lecture course Essential Scientific Concepts was released by The Great Courses in 2014, selling more than 20,000 copies in its first year. Her second course, Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience was released in early 2017.

Indre Viskontas is the author of books: Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, 12 Essential Scientific Concepts, How Music Can Make You Better: (Motivational book, Neuroscience book), How Music Can Make You Better (The HOW Series), Is Mental Illness Just a Chemical Imbalance? (Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, #3), Is Your Brain Perfectly Designed? (Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, #1), Are Bigger Brains Smarter? (Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, #2), Do You Only Use 10% of Your Brain? (Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, #7), How Accurate is Your Memory? (Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, #6), How Different Are Male and Female Brains? (Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience, #5)

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Author Books

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Title
Description
01
Much of the layperson's knowledge of the brain is predicated on a lack of understanding about this mysterious organ. To start building a more straightforward, accurate understanding of current breakthroughs in neuroscience, you have to start by shattering popular brain myths.

Each of these 24 lectures takes as its focus a single powerful, prevalent brain myth, and uses it as a launch pad from which to explore myriad topics in neuroscience: decision making, memory, dreams, emotions, neuroplasticity, consciousness, mental illness, and much more.

Our memory is an accurate, objective record of the past. Our senses reflect the world as it really exists. Our dreams have hidden meanings. We are only using 10% of our total brain power. Modern technology (including social media) is making us less intelligent. Dr. Viskontas doesn't just settle for obliterating these and other myths. Instead, she replaces them with scientific facts gathered from experiments, research, and case studies. The result is an eye-opening adventure into the latest understanding of why the brain works the way it does.

Whatever order you enjoy these lectures in, you'll be left with insights that will help you better determine the hard scientific truths behind the breaking news (and myths) of tomorrow.
02
Length: 12 hours and 5 minutes

Science is such a vast arena of knowledge that people looking for a better grasp of its secrets often wonder where to begin. The answer: with the essentials. Now, finally satisfy your desire for scientific inquiry in a way that makes this enormous field accessible, understandable, and undeniably captivating.

Professor Viskontas boils down the scientific world into 12 key concepts every educated person should know. Devoting two lectures to each concept to give you more time to engage with it, her 24-lecture series is an engaging and enlightening introduction to everything from the behavior of subatomic particles to the latest theories about the Big Bang.

Throughout, you'll get accessible looks at key building blocks of scientific knowledge, including brain plasticity, fluid mechanics, electromagnetism, genetics, quantum theory, emergence, evolution, thermodynamics, the Big Bang, and the nature of matter. Each concept is presented in a clear, concise way that will inform and delight you, and that will give you the opportunity to probe the invisible life of living cells, visit the universe seconds after its birth, and much more.

Concepts that may have eluded you in school, that you may not be familiar with, or that you simply never appreciated for their intricate beauty are now brought to vivid life in a way that sticks. Welcome to the world of science - reduced to its powerful essence.
03
"This brilliant little book is clear, lucid, and easy to read. It is packed with fascinating information that I didn't know... I shall give it to lots of friends." —Jonathan Lynn, comedy legend

A fascinating field guide from neuroscientist and opera singer Indre Viskontas that investigates what music is and how it can change us for the better—from deep in our neurons to across our entire society. Learn how certain songs carry us through a tough workout, comfort us after a breakup, or unite 50,000 diverse fans. A vibrant and smart gift for any audiophile—hip-hop fans, classically trained pianists, or vinyl collectors—readers will think about their favorite songs in a whole new way by the end of this book.

• Find out how your mind transforms sounds into human experiences
• Discover how music connects us, heals us, and changes us for the better
• Learn from renowned musicians, neuroscientists, and authors

"Indre Viskontas, combining her deep knowledge of neuroscience and music, has lifted the veil on the mysterious effects of music to move us, showing us not only how the human brain creates the magical patterns of music but also why music has the power to affect us like no other form of communication. An extremely important and inspiring book." —Robert Greene, best-selling author of The 48 Laws of Power

Readers of How Poetry Can Change Your Heartor The Psychology of Music will love this book


• Music lovers and audiophiles
• Musicians
• Anyone interested in neuroscience
05
According to Dr. Viskontas, major psychiatric illnesses aren't just the result of chemical concentrations in the brain. The focus of this lecture is an intriguing exploration of two disorders that have proven to be far more complicated and nuanced in our understanding of mental illness: schizophrenia and depression.
06
Begin the course by debunking one of the most fundamental myths about the human brain. Along the way, discover how our brains are shaped by evolution and experience, which neurons are responsible for self-awareness and motor coordination, and why the brain is still very much a work in progress.
07
When it comes to brains, size doesn't matter as much as you think. Here, explore concepts including the Encephalization quotient (which compares brain mass to body mass), the "g" factor (a long-sought-after standard of cognitive ability), and the lessons scientists have learned from studying the brain of Albert Einstein.
08
Are you using your brain to its fullest potential? Here, clear up some of the mystery about how much of our brain power we're using. As you'll learn, you use a lot more of your brain than you think, whether you're practicing a new skill or simply zoning out in front of the television.
09
In this lecture that unpacks the accuracy of your memories, learn how information is encoded, stored, and retrieved in the brain; examine how Alzheimer's disease and amnesia affect the brain's ability to remember; and explore the "Seven Sins of Memory," including absentmindedness, memory blocking, and misattribution.
10
We're always hearing about studies that find significant differences the brains of men and women. How should we be thinking about gender differences in the brain? How are these differences misinterpreted? What are the differences in the male and female amygdala and hippocampus? Which genders express which emotions more openly?