The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability
to Deceive, Transform, and Heal.
The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal
By Erik Vance
This riveting narrative explores the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds. Could the secrets to personal health lie within our own brains? Journalist Erik Vance explores the surprising ways our expectations and beliefs influence our bodily responses to pain, disease, and everyday events. Drawing on centuries of research and interviews with leading experts in the field, Vance takes us on a fascinating adventure from Harvard’s research labs to a witch doctor’s office in Catemaco, Mexico, to an alternative medicine school near Beijing to your own local pharmacy. Vance’s firsthand dispatches will change the way you think—and feel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Vance is an award-winning science writer based
in California and Mexico City. Raised as a Christian Scientist, he graduated with honors from the Christian Science school, Principia College in 1999 with a degree in biology. After working as a scientist on research projects dealing with dolphin intelligence and coastal ecology, he became an educator and then an environmental consultant. In 2005, he attended UC Santa Cruz’s famed science communication program and discovered a passion for journalism.
There he learned that only through compelling characters can stories touch and inspire us. Since then, he has built his career around science-based profiles of inspiring, dedicated, or controversial figures in society. His work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The Utne Reader, Scientific American, and National Geographic.
"He climbs cliffs until he’s terrified. He lets scientists shock his fingers. He invites a curse upon his unborn child. Erik Vance, it seems, will do almost anything to show that we'll believe almost anything. I’ll take the bargain. He suffers, but in this remarkable book, we get a marvelous tour of humanity's dangerous but indispensable willingness to imagine."
"The placebo effect is inescapably real, and it shows
us how much we have yet to understand about the connection between our minds and bodies. In Suggestible You, Erik Vance has created a fascinating, engaging history of one of science's weirdest discoveries and takes us on a riveting journey into hypnosis, false memories, and the many other ways our minds can get manipulated."
"Erik Vance has pulled off a rare feat: He's written a book that's both deeply reported and compulsively readable.
From his astonishing personal story to his probing questions about the hidden powers of our minds, Suggestible You is
a triumph. This is popular science at its best."
Author of THE PANIC VIRUS
Author of PARASITE REX: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
Author of REEF MADNESS: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral
HOW SUGGESTIBLE ARE YOU?
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© National Geographic
November 17, 2016
Suggestible You: Placebos, False Memories, Hypnosis, and the Power of Your Astonishing Brain
Science journalist Vance takes an inspired journey into the profound and often unnoticed powers of our brains.
The human mind is capable of astonishing feats, but does it hold the power to alleviate pain, or even cure disease, simply through suggestibility?
The placebo effect, in which an inert substance relieves symptoms simply because the patient thinks it’s an active pill, is among the most fascinating subjects in medicine.
THE TIM FERRISS SHOW
The Magic and Power of Placebo
Erik Vance speaks at length with bestselling author and podcast host, Tim Ferriss.
THIS WEEK IN SCIENCE
Just a Little Suggestion
This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS) is a weekly podcast hosted by scientists and lovers of science that takes an ironic, often hilarious look at what people are talking about in the world of science.
Are You 'Throwing Away 30% of Your Cure'?
New book 'Suggestible You' reviews science behind placebo effect.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Remembering Childhood Trauma That Never Happened
Excerpt from Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain’s Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - BOOK TALK
Here's What Placebos Can Heal—And What They Can't
The latest research in biochemistry reveals that your brain can actually self-medicate.
INQUIRING MINDS- MOTHER JONES
What the Heck Is a Placebo Anyway?
Why fake medicine can make you feel better.
The Power of Suggestion
Erik works to explain the real power behind homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, hypnosis, and more… your mind! He explores what makes the placebo effect so, well, effective.
How Scientists Are Trying to Unlock the Mysteries of Hypnosis
It may seem like a topic from the edge of woo, but hypnosis is getting a new look from researchers studying its fascinating effects on our brains.
THE ONE YOU FEED PODCAST
We talk about all the ways our brain twists reality in order to make what it expects into reality.