'An entertaining, smart self-help book for people who hate self-help books' – Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
Can you really rewire an adult brain?
In theory the answer is 'yes', but there's a problem: no one seems to know exactly how to do it.
In Override, the science journalist Caroline Williams sets off on a mission to find the answer. Delving into the latest studies on brain plasticity, which indicate that brain games don't actually do much to make you smarter, she tries to square her findings with the reality of brain plasticity – that the brain adapts physically as we learn something new.
Visiting top neuroscientists in their labs, she volunteers herself as a guinea pig in neuroscience studies, challenging researchers to make real changes to her – functioning, but imperfect – brain. She seeks to improve her own weaknesses, such as a limited attention span and a tendency to worry too much, and then branches out into more mysterious areas such as intelligence, creativity and the perception of time.
Trying everything from high-tech brain stimulation to meditation, adding bolt-on senses and retraining her stress response, Williams provides an intimate, fascinating journey into discovering what neuroscience can really do for us – and, crucially, whether it's worth all the bother.