Book Reviews From 2015

7 Quotes And A Helpful Memory Tool From “A Brilliant Mind”

A Brilliant MindIn his latest book, Dr. Frank Minrith tells us about a vital link between our vocabulary, and the growth in the human brain. It’s really quite fascinating! Check out my review of A Brilliant Mind by clicking here. Below are a few quotes from this book I wanted to share with you, along with a helpful list for increasing your memorization capacity.

“Only 3,500 words separate the culturally literate from others.”

“The average adult probably has a vocabulary of thirty to sixty thousand words. The highly literate may extend to one hundred thousand words. Yet the English language has well over one million words. Moving above the thirty-thousand-word range will greatly enhance our communication skills.”

“Many other tests since Dr. Johnson O’Connor’s have confirmed the correlation between career success and vocabulary knowledge.”

“Neuroplasticity simply means that the brain is capable of being molded: it can change and develop more connections between its many nerve cells so that, to a degree, it can even develop more cells. Neurogenesis is a similar term; it means that the brain is capable of growth and development. … You can increase the number of synapses in your brain by memorizing words. The more words you memorize, the more you can memorize because of the increase in neural synapses.”

“K. Warner Schaie, who investigated cognitive decline, found that the risk of cognitive decline could be reduced by three factors: higher education, extensive reading, and being married to a spouse with high cognitive status.” 

“We are, to a degree, what we repeatedly take into our brains. As we begin to expand our mental capacity through memorization, the brain chemistry is rearranged and memory is stored. Not only do we gain greater memory capability, but our brains actually change and improve. It is as if we program the brain with new software, and therefore we can respond to life around us in a healthier manner.”

Eight memory techniques:

  1. Review
  2. Employ visualization
  3. Use exaggeration
  4. Utilize association—synonyms, antonyms, subordination, relationships, etc.
  5. Use classification
  6. Command yourself—“When you direct the brain to do a task, it releases powerful chemicals in the direction requested. These chemicals are so powerful that if one hundred people with major medical depression—documented by a medical PET scan—are given a placebo, 33 percent will respond and their PET scan often returns to normal.” 
  7. Learn prefixes, suffixes, and roots
  8. See the origins in foreign words

A Brilliant Mind (book review)

A Brilliant MindDr. Frank Minrith opens his book—A Brilliant Mind—with a bold statement. “Whether you are five or ninety-five, you can develop a more brilliant mind. Whether your IQ is 85 or 165, brilliance can be increased. Whether you are a child, a housewife, a blue-collar worker, or a business executive, brilliance is yours for the taking through the exercises contained in this book.”

Quite simply the premise comes down to this: the brain’s neuroplasticity (it’s ability to continue to learn and retain new things) can be increased by simply expanding your vocabulary. Dr. Minrith points out that only 3500 words separate the culturally literate from others, but this expanded vocabulary holds the key.

Dr. Minrith points out that your brain’s synapses can be increased by memorizing new words, and applying them to your daily life. So the bulk of the book contains list after list after list of vocabulary words, arranged in very specific groups. Taking time to learn these words and their meaning is the key to brilliance. Not only that, but it’s a lot of fun developing a burgeoning vocabulary!

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