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Chosen as  one of the best science books to read in 2021 by New Scientist, Overloaded explores how the chemicals in our brains control every aspect of our lives, from motivation to pain, mood to memory. 


I have always been curious, wanting to understand why and how the things around me work, but it wasn’t until university that I discovered my fascination with brain science. Here was a real challenge. An incredibly complex system, full of mysteries and unknowns, that needed breaking down, and understanding at the most fundamental level. And not only that, but it was something that affected us all, every day, and could answer perhaps the most fundamental question of all: why do we behave the way we do? 


In Overloaded, I explore all these complex interactions between our brain matter and the chemicals it bathes in and how they touch every aspect of our lives. From what we remember, how we make decisions and who we love; to basic survival drives such as hunger, fear and sleep. The book is crammed full of fascinating stories from scientists at the cutting-edge of research into the world of brain chemistry, who are uncovering the unexpected connections between these crucial chemicals that control us.

If you’d like to read a sample or purchase my new book ‘Overloaded’, visit the links below:


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The Cosmic Shambles Network: Book Shambles

Ginny and hosts Robin Ince and Josie Long discuss pig pheromones, comedian's brains, and the things we don't know about our incredible chemicals brains.

Tea Time with Ali Monjack

Ginny chats to Ali about all things brainy, and why she got into science communication

Calm Down Dear

Hosts Sarah and Becky ask Ginny about her many passions from (of course) neuroscience, to brain-inspired fashion and her love of noughties pop-punk. 


Ginny digs deep into the science behind brain chemistry, and its importance for every aspect of our lives.


Exam Study Expert podcast

How can we use neuroscience to improve learning & memory? Ginny discusses the brain chemistry of memory, stress and attention with William Wadsworth, of Exam Study

How To Academy Podcast

How do we learn? Why we do sleep, or fall in love? Can we trust our memories? Neuroscience expert, author and presenter Ginny Smith explores the latest science of the mind and brain to answer the big questions about human behaviour.

‎Dot to Dot; Behind the Person

Ginny discusses her passion for science, and explores topics including how swearing relieves pain, depression, PTSD, sleep and neuromyths.



Overloaded: How Your Brain Chemicals Influence Your Life - with Ginny Smith - YouTube

Recorded live for the Royal Institution, Ginny explores some of the themes in Overloaded.


Setting the Clock in Our Brain - Ginny Smith & Helen Czerski - The Cosmic Shambles Network

Have rolling lockdowns got you wondering, ‘So, what day is it now?’ Our brains really like routine and rhythms and when we take that away, we try to artificially reinsert it. in this video, Ginny talks to Helen Czerski about her experiences in the land of the midnight sun, and how our bodies stay on a 24 hour cycle, even without changes in light to provide a cue.


By Ginny

Where's Your Motivation? - Ginny Smith - The Cosmic Shambles Network

In this installment of her regular blog, Ginny explores the role of dopamine in keeping us motivated. For lots more blog posts, follow this link: An Inquiring Mind Archives - The Cosmic Shambles Network

My chemical romance | The Psychologist (

There are, of course, a huge number of chemicals that affect our brains and behaviour, but in this article Ginny picks six of her favourites, to give you a taste of their vital roles, and the complexity of the systems that use them.

How to use your brain chemicals to boost your happiness (

Happiness isn’t just about pleasure – it is far more complicated than that and involves a huge number of brain chemicals. In this piece, Ginny selects four science-backed tips that are key in living a happy life

The sleeping brain | Science Features | Naked Scientists (

Getting enough sleep is vital for health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to do. While we don’t understand it fully, scientists are starting to pick apart the networks involved in sleep. And the beginnings of this understanding goes back to the First World War, and a strange illness known as Sleepy Sickness...

About the book

The best science books to read in 2021 | New Scientist

Overloaded was chosen as one of New Scientist's best science books to read in 2021, along with some other great titles

Overloaded: How Every Aspect of your Life Is Influenced by Your Brain Chemicals | Psychreg

Our lives are shaped by our brain chemicals. They create our fondest memories, influence how we make decisions and who we love, and dictate basic survival drives such as hunger, fear and sleep.

Forget brain regions, it's all about networks in neuroscience (

Ginny sits down with the neurorehabilitation times to discuss her career, and why she wrote Overloaded

Features on:

Press Coverage


In Overloaded, Ginny Smith gives a light, entertaining view of the way that the chemicals that act both as messengers and controls in the brain influence our behaviour, feelings, memory and more. Smith's writing style is conversational and fun.

 Overloaded by Ginny Smith is a beautifully insightful dive into how the brain functions. Smith does a good job of making the material relatable and readable despite discussing complex and sometimes difficult to understand scientific concepts. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in neuroscience or psychology or just anyone interested in how their brain works.

A seriously gifted presenter of science. Ginny Smith has an uncanny ability to make state-of-the-art medical insight simple, while retaining subtlety - and not going beyond what the research suggests. Her playful narrative style... is sure to amuse. Ginny Smith carefully navigates the topic without resorting to lifeless determinism or the ‘victim-blaming’ of free-will absolutists.

I have a degree in psychology and I still learned loads from Overloaded about the role all those "chemicals" have to play in so many areas of brain function! It does an excellent job of breaking down complex ideas clearly. Incredibly well-written and highly readable, I'll recommend it to students and friends equally!

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