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Authors: Garth Sundem

Brain Trust

BOOK: Brain Trust
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ALSO BY GARTH SUNDEM
The Geeks’ Guide to World Domination
Brain Candy

Copyright © 2012 by Garth Sundem

All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of the
Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
www.crownpublishing.com

Three Rivers Press and the Tugboat design are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Sundem, Garth
Brain trust : 93 top scientists reveal lab-tested secrets to surfing, dating, dieting, gambling, growing man-eating plants, and more! / Garth Sundem.
p. cm.
Summary: “Based entirely on original interviews with Nobel laureates,
MacArthur geniuses, National Science Medal winners, and other leading
scientists,
Brain Trust
delivers more than 100 proven, scientifically valid
tips guaranteed to make you more awesome”—Provided by publisher.
1. Science—Miscellanea. I. Title.
Q173.S947 2012
500—dc23
2011022036

eISBN: 978-0-307-88614-9

Illustrations: Garth Sundem
Cover design: Kyle Kolker
Cover photographs: (shirt) © Brand × Pictures;
(scientists) Lambert
/
Archive Photos
/
Getty Images

v3.1

To the 130-ish brilliant scientists who took time from teaching, research, and their otherwise busy lives to tutor me in how to best live mine.

CONTENTS

Cover

Other Books by This Author

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

INTRODUCTION

TRANSFORM A RELATIONSHIP WITH LANGUAGE
Steven Pinker
COGNITIVE SCIENCE, HARVARD UNIVERSITY

EAT FOR EIGHT HOURS, LOSE WEIGHT
Satchidananda Panda
REGULATORY BIOLOGY, SALK INSTITUTE

HOW TO BUILD TINY, FLYING CYBORG BEETLES
Michel Maharbiz
ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY

HOW TO LEARN
Robert Bjork
PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA–LOS ANGELES

THE BODY LANGUAGE OF DOMINANCE AND LOVE
David Givens
ANTHROPOLOGY, CENTER FOR NONVERBAL STUDIES

HOW AND WHEN TO OVERRULE CHOICE
Sheena Iyengar
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL

THE COOLEST CARD TRICK EVER
Ian Stewart
MATHEMATICS, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

HOW TO BET SPORTS
Wayne Winston
DECISION SCIENCE, INDIANA UNIVERSITY-BLOOMINGTON

AVOID CONSUMPTION QUICKSAND
Niro Sivanathan
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL

HOW TO HANG TEN
Paul Doherty
PHYSICS, THE EXPLORATORIUM

HOW TO SELL FOR BIG BUCKS ON EBAY
Gillian Ku
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL

SHOULD YOU MULTITASK?
David Strayer
COGNITIVE SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

TEACH YOUR TODDLER PERFECT PITCH
Diana Deutsch
AUDITORY PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA–SAN DIEGO

HOW TO AGREE (AND WHY NEGOTIATIONS FAIL)
George Loewenstein
BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

WIN THE LOTTERY
Skip Garibaldi
MATHEMATICS, EMORY UNIVERSITY

IMAGINE EATING TO EAT LESS
Casey Morewedge
DECISION SCIENCE, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

USE RUBBER BANDS TO BE A RADICAL ROCK CLIMBER
Hugh Herr
BIOMECHATRONICS, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

DECOUPLING “COMFORT” AND “FOOD”
Mark Wilson
PSYCHOBIOLOGY, YERKES NATIONAL PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER

WRING AN EXTRA $20 OUT OF A USED CAR
Devin Pope
BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

HAPPINESS, WHY LAWYERS DON’T VOLUNTEER, AND HOW TO FUND A NONPROFIT
Sanford DeVoe
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

THE SCIENCE OF SPEED DATING
Paul Eastwick and Eli Finkel
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

HOW TO BE A BALLER
John Fontanella
PHYSICS, UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

HOW TO PANHANDLE
Lee Alan Dugatkin
BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

HOW TO TAKE A CORNER
Charles Edmondson
PHYSICS, UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

DESTROY STUFF WITH AWESOME SUPERVILLAIN POWERS
Steve Strogatz
MATHEMATICS, CORNELL UNIVERSITY

CREATE A CULTLIKE POSSE OF WORSHIPFUL AUTOMATONS
Eli Berman
ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA–SAN DIEGO

BUILD A CYBERNETIC THIRD ARM
Yoky Matsuoka
BIOROBOTICS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

BE A SCRABBLE JEDI
Jason Katz-Brown
QUACKLE, GOOGLE

GET YOUR SPOUSE TO DO MORE HOUSEWORK
George Akerlof
ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY

MAKE THE MOST OF THE GENES YOU GOT
Joseph Ecker
GENETICS, SALK INSTITUTE

THROW A PUNCH
Jearl Walker
PHYSICS, CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH
Robert Provine
NEUROSCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND–BALTIMORE COUNTY

SEE UNHOLY COLORS
Jay Neitz
OPHTHALMOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

DRINK MORE TO EAT LESS
Brenda Davy
NUTRITION, VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

HOW TO AVOID CAR THEFT
Ben Vollaard
CRIMINOLOGY, TILBURG UNIVERSITY

TO KNOW OTHERS, KNOW THYSELF
Julian Keenan
NEUROSCIENCE, MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY

HOW TO SPOT A LIAR
Paul Ekman
PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA–SAN FRANCISCO

GROW HUGE CARNIVOROUS PLANTS
Louie Yang
ECOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS

CHOOSE PEOPLE WHOSE COLLABORATION WILL BE GREATER THAN THE SUM OF THEIR PARTS
Brian Sauser
SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT, STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

GET A JOB!
Roger Bohn
MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA–SAN DIEGO

KNOW IF PEOPLE ARE OUT TO GET YOU
Jennifer Whitson
MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MCCOMBS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

DESIGN A POLL TO GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT
Charles Franklin
POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

HOW TO BEAT SUCKERS AT POKER
Jonathan Schaeffer
COMPUTER SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA

DISAPPOINTED OR PLEASANTLY SURPRISED? ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Gordon Dahl
ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA–SAN DIEGO

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR EVIL WAYS
B. J. Fogg
PERSUASIVE TECHNOLOGY, STANFORD UNIVERSITY

STOP YOUR BODY FROM DISSOLVING ITSELF
Gerald Weissmann
MEDICINE, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

SCAM-PROOF YOURSELF
Stephen Greenspan
PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

AVOID BUYING STUFF YOU DON’T NEED
Brian Knutson
NEUROSCIENCE, STANFORD UNIVERSITY

CONTROL GOSSIP
Tim Hallett
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, INDIANA UNIVERSITY-BLOOMINGTON

DO THE UTILITY SHUFFLE TO DIVIDE CAKE, CHORES, CARBON, AND THE BILL
Eric Maskin
ECONOMICS, INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY

MIGHT AS WELL FACE IT: ADDICTED TO LOVE
Larry Young
NEUROSCIENCE, YERKES NATIONAL PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER

CREATE FALSE MEMORIES TO GET MORE PEACH SCHNAPPS
Elizabeth Loftus
PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-IRVINE

SAVE THE WORLD IN YOUR SPARE TIME
Luis von Ahn
COMPUTER SCIENCE, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

USE FACEBOOK TO PICK YOUR PARTY POSSE
Robin Dunbar
ANTHROPOLOGY, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH A CRIME IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris
PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSTY OF ILLINOIS–URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, UNION COLLEGE

THE SHORTEST PATH BETWEEN ERRANDS
William Cook
MATHEMATICS, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

HOW TO SURVIVE ARMAGEDDON
Mira Olson
CIVIL ENGINEERING, DREXEL UNIVERSITY

BE A TRENDSETTER
Simon Levin
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

TRAIN THE BRAIN OF THE ULTIMATE INVESTOR
Antoine Bechara
NEUROLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

YOUR FUTURE SELF KNOWS BEST
Katherine Milkman
BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS, WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER (WITHOUT EXERCISING)
Ronald Evans
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, SALK INSTITUTE

SEXY OF VOICE, SEXY OF BODY
Gordon Gallup
EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ALBANY

SPOTTING SINCERITY—A SLOW “YES” MEANS “NO”
Colin Camerer
NEUROECONOMICS, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

YOU SUCK, SO I ROCK
David Dunning
PSYCHOLOGY, CORNELL UNIVERSITY

PROOF YOURSELF AGAINST SENSATIONALIZED STATS
Keith Devlin
MATHEMATICS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY

AVOID THE CARPLIKE STARE OF CHOICE PARALYSIS
Jonah Berger
DECISION SCIENCE, WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

THE POWER OF A CONNECTED MINORITY
Michael Kearns
COMPUTER SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

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