ebook my quest to go beyond brain training and take control of my mind

By Caroline Williams

cover image of Override

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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, 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, Williams volunteers herself as a guinea pig in neuroscience studies, challenging researchers to make real changes to her — functioning, but imperfect — brain. Seeking first to improve on her own weaknesses, such as a limited attention span and a tendency to worry too much, she 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, Override is a very intimate, fascinating journey into discovering what neuroscience can really do for us — and, crucially, whether it's worth all the bother.


'A more nuanced understanding of how our brains really work that is both empowering and insightful.' The Irish Times

'Presented in crisp chapters, Override is a diverting investigation into how neuroscience can nudge us towards making more efficient use of our brain's resources.' The Irish Examiner