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.
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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.
Ginny chats to Ali about all things brainy, and why she got into science communication
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.
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 Expert.com
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.
Ginny discusses her passion for science, and explores topics including how swearing relieves pain, depression, PTSD, sleep and neuromyths.
Recorded live for the Royal Institution, Ginny explores some of the themes in Overloaded.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Overloaded was chosen as one of New Scientist's best science books to read in 2021, along with some other great titles
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.
Ginny sits down with the neurorehabilitation times to discuss her career, and why she wrote Overloaded
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!