Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Review: Building Brain Power

Building Brain Power by Dilip Mukerjea is a step by step guide on how to convert "grey cells into gold". The owner and MD of Buzan Centre Singapore an organisation dedicated to advancement of Mental literacy, Dilip Mukherjea has authored a number of books on Mind Mapping, Speed Reading, Memory Enhancement etc.

The book starts with prompting the readers to assess their brain capacity at the moment. The author then takes us through some ground realities to prepare us for the exercises to come. these are:
1. Most of us accept mediocrity as a norm, denying our inherent potential for genius.
2. Our brains succumb to limitations when they are allowed to do so.
3. Brain power can be built through mindmapping.

He then goes on to explain the nature, characteristics, parts and evolution of the human brain. The author confirms that most of us use only one percent of our brain and think we have achieved a lot. He says this makes the brain fall into the trap of Supertanker Thinking which restricts our capacity to manoeuvre quickly, change pace and direction instantly as the situation demands.

Slowly he introduces the concept of Mind Mapping - How the brain recognises images and colours more easily and is able to relate to and memorize pictures and themes broken into small elements in a mind map. Several mind maps drawn by the author about various things are used as examples to make the reader understand how a mind map is developed and then there are several exercises available for the reader to practise mind mapping. There are also general knowledge quizzes, crossword puzzles, analytical reasoning problems etc. to sharpen and refresh the brain, in order to make it alert. The book ends with the same brain image assessments as it started, with a hope that a person who started off rating his brainpower at the lowest ebb would end up calling himself a Superbrain by the time he has completed all the exercises in the book.

The book flips between scientific theories about the functioning of the brain, nervous system, senses, disorders, language skills, communication types etc. and practical exercises. The exercise of mindmapping is very elaborately described with a number of opportunities for the reader to practice the same. It is written in the style of a participant guide in a mindmapping training. It is difficult to concentrate on the theory portion which is too dry. The mind mapping exercises are good and elaborate, but would need some handholding to make it userfriendly.

As mentioned earlier, the layout and the arrangement of topics in the book is more suitable for a training environment rather than self study. It is very easy for the reader to lose interest or enthusiasm because of the textbook style layout of the book.The crossword puzzles and number riddles are those which a reader can come across regularly. The need to keep the brain engaged in such activities to recharge and energize it is well communicated.

In a nutshell, it is an excellent attempt by the author, to demystify Mind Mapping and the tips given by him to enhance brainpower through simple yet powerful visual medium and exercises is effective. It would have been more effective if the theory component was not so elaborate and the style of presentation enabled self study.

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  1. It is interesting. As our body builds thru regular exercise the brain might also be capable of expanding its potential.You have done a service by introducing the book. Many parents will find it worth experimenting.

  2. I am happy you found it useful Sir. thanks

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