A neuroscientist reveals unique aspects of decision making and the best strategies for protecting and enhancing the brain’s ability to navigate life’s uncertainties
Contingency calculations—the ability to predict the outcomes of decisions and actions—are critical for survival and success. Our amazing brains continually process past and current experiences to enable us to make the most adaptive choices. But when the brain’s information systems are compromised—by such varying conditions as drug addiction, poverty, mental illness, or even privilege—we can lose the ability to arrive at informed decisions.
In this engaging book, behavioral neuroscientist Kelly Lambert explores a variety of the modern factors that can lead to warped neural processing, or distorted realities she terms “brain bubbles.” Individuals who define success in terms of creature comforts and immediate gratification, for instance, may interact less with the physical and social world and thereby dull their ability to imagine varied contingency scenarios. The author underscores how continuous, meaningful, and well-grounded experiences are required if we are to make the best decisions throughout our lives.
Kelly Lambert is an award-winning professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University of Richmond and author of four previous books, including Lifting Depression and The Lab Rat Chronicles. She lives in Rockville, VA.