Iconoclast

A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently
by Gregory Berns, MD, PhD | 272 pages

Wonder what the iconoclast’s brain looks like? Well, that’s what this book is all about. Our guide is Gregory Berns, one of the world’s leading pioneers (iconoclasts?) in the field of neuroeconomics. Berns is a professor in the department of Psychiatry and Economics and at the Goizeta Business School at Emory University. This book is a fascinating look at the three primary facets of the iconoclast’s brain (perception + courage + social skills), brought to life via research studies and biographical sketches of modern iconoclasts. Big Ideas we cover: how to change the way you see the world, how to control your fear and how to build your social skills (hint: be a good human).


“It is, of course, not easy to be an iconoclast. The iconoclast risks social and professional ostracism, frequently alienates colleagues, and must face a daily reckoning with a high likelihood of failure. He walks a tough road. And although there is a certain romantic notion to the image of the rugged individualist, who, against all odds, triumphs over conformity, the simple fact is that most people don’t want to be an iconoclast. This book won’t make you an iconoclast, but you can learn to think a bit more iconoclastically by understanding how the three key brain circuits work. …

The overarching theme of this book is that iconoclasts are able to do things others say can’t be done, because iconoclasts perceive things differently than other people. This difference in perception plays out in the initial stages of an idea. It plays out in how they manage their fears, and it manifests in how they pitch their ideas to the masses of noniconoclasts. It is an exceedingly rare individual who possesses all three of these traits. In the following chapters, the stories of iconoclasts provide lessons in how their brains, to varying degrees, implement the three key functions. Each story was chosen to exemplify one of these functions. Roll them all together, and you would have the ultimate iconoclast’s brain.”

~ Gregory Berns Ph.D. from Iconoclast

Wonder what the iconoclast’s brain looks like?

Well, that’s what this book is all about.

Our guide is Gregory Berns, one of the world’s leading pioneers (iconoclasts?) in the field of neuroeconomics. Berns is a professor in the department of Psychiatry and Economics and at the Goizeta Business School at Emory University.

This book is a fascinating look at the three primary facets of the iconoclast’s brain (perception + courage + social skills), brought to life via research studies and biographical sketches of modern iconoclasts. If you’re an aspiring iconoclast and/or interested in what makes one tick, I think you’ll enjoy the book. (Get a copy here.)

It’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Gregory Berns, MD, PhD

Scientist, Entrepreneur and Author.