The Organized Mind (2014)

I was very pleased to read an Aug. 24, 2014 Globe and Mail article entitled: “Your brain has limited capacity: Here’s how to maximize it.”

The article is based on a book, The Organized Mind (2014) by Daniel Levitin. I’ve posted a couple of recent items about the book:

The processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited; this is a result of how the brain’s attentional system evolved

Do your social networking and email during a designated time, not as constant interruptions to your day

Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke

Early Saturday morning, May 31, 2014 view of Food Court at Cloverdale Mall, which is located a short ways south of Bloorlea Middle School. Jaan Pill photo

I bought the book at the Coles Bookstoreat Cloverdale Mall for under $20 after checking online.

David Levitin is also the author of This Is Your Brain on Music (2006).

The Organized Mind (2014) is a great complement to another book – Memory Fitness (2004) – that I’ve discussed at an earlier post.

Four Key Points – The Organized Mind (2014)

The Aug. 25, 2014 print edition of Aug. 24, 2014 The Globe and Mail article has some illustrations to go with each of the four following key points from the book. For each item, I’ve included a short note or excerpt from the longer text that is included for each item, in the article:

(1) Evaluate the probabilities

In this section there’s a reference to Bayesian inferencing, which involves updating one’s estimates of probabilities, based on increasingly refining the information available.

(2) Take the time to write it down

“When you write stuff down, you have a much higher chance of it getting imprinted on your brain,” a football coach notes.

(3) Your friendships could use a reminder

“Levitin suggests actively organizing data about your social world to allow you to have more meaningful interactions.”

(4) When in doubt, toss it in a junk drawer

“The chaos of a junk drawer, a catch-all place to store odds and ends, may seem antithetical to creating order in your life. But Levitin says there is an important purpose for the junk drawer.”

[End of notes and excerpts]

Of related interest:

An Aug. 24, 2014 Globe and Mail article is entitled: “Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin promotes daydream mode for the brain.”

A Sept. 5, 2014 CBC “Spark” podcast featuring Daniel Levitin sharing “5 Tips To Organize Your Mind” can be accessed here.

Mental functioning

Previous posts address human perception, social media, and the frames of reference associated with neuroscience.

A CBC The Current article is entitled: “Experts are divided over whether grains are bad for our brains.”

The article refers to Mindfull: Over 100 Recipes for Better Brain Health (2013).

A blurb notes: “As the population ages, the incidence of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other brain diseases is on the rise, creating a growing need for proven nutritional advice and recipes for better brain health.”

An Aug. 9, 2013 YouTube video is entitled: “From One Second To The Next – Texting While Driving Documentary – Werner Herzog.”


An Oct. 2, 2014 Inc. article is entitled: “Multitasking Physically Shrinks Your Brain: Study.” The subhead reads: “New research finds that looking at multiple screens at once can actually alter a key brain structure.”

A Sept. 30, 2014 CBC podcast is entitled: “A Deadly Wandering: How texting and driving killed two rocket scientists.”

An Oct. 7, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “Talking cars actually more dangerous, studies find.”

A Dec. 6, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “Stress linked to frequent email checking: Email checking habits are hard to break, UBC researcher says.”


A Feb. 7, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Trauma prompts the brain to focus on survival, not ‘peripheral details’: Traumatic or deeply emotional experiences are encoded by a special neural pathway, psychologists explain.”


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