In her new book, How the Body Knows Its Mind, award-winning scientist Sian Beilock offers a groundbreaking new understanding of the mind-body connection and its profound impact on everything from advertising to romance.
The human body is not just a passive device carrying out messages sent by the brain, but rather an integral part of how we think and make decisions. In her groundbreaking new book, Beilock draws on her own research to turn the conventional understanding of the mind upside down in ways that will revolutionize how we live our lives.
Sian Beilock, a leading expert on the brain science behind human performance, is a professor in the psychology department at the University of Chicago. She has PhDs in both kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University, and received an award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science in 2011.
How the Body Knows Its Mind
At the heart of How the Body Knows Its Mind is the tantalizing idea that our bodies “hack” our brains. That is, the way we move affects our thoughts, our decisions, and even our preferences for particular products. Called “embodied cognition,” this new science—of which Beilock is a foremost researcher—illuminates the power of the body and its physical surroundings to shape how we think, feel, and behave. Her findings are as varied as they are surprising.
For example, pacing around the room can enhance creativity; gesturing during a speech can help ensure that you don’t draw a blank; kids learn better when their bodies are part of the learning process; walking in nature boosts concentration skills; Botox users experience less depression; and much more. From the tricks used by advertisers to the ways body language can improve your memory, Beilock explains a wealth of fascinating interconnections between mind and body and how mastering them can make us happier, safer, and more successful.