A psychologist offers mental exercises designed to revitalize a lagging brain.
In several books, Litvin (Sailor’s Psychology, 2012, etc.) has articulated a new theory about the root causes of cognitive impairment. Damaged complex cells improperly process new information and errantly distribute that data throughout the brain. The result is a disconnect between the nature of a perceptual experience and the manner in which humans interpret it, resulting in a kind of neural misfiring. But this neural breakdown can be rectified without either surgical or pharmacological treatment—exercises can activate dormant parts of the brain by forcing one to translate various types of perceptual stimuli (say, visual) into the symbolism of others (auditory or olfactory, for example). This volume is almost entirely comprised of those exercises, which are explained in Litvin’s Code (2011) at some length but not here. In fact, the only account of the method in this volume is a brief synopsis on the back cover. Since this is the second installment in a series of three workbooks, Litvin can justifiably presume readers are familiar with the nature of the exercises as well as the psychological theory that undergirds it. As presented in preceding volumes, that theory is unspecific, lacking a systematic explication in adequately rigorous scientific terms as well as any empirical evidence. As in Litvin’s Introduction to Brain Stimulation by Psychoconduction (2011), the exercises here are relatively easy to follow and helpfully illustrated by Martirosyan. The mathematical equations in this workbook are certainly more complex than the ones presented in its predecessor and bifurcate into problems of addition and subtraction. What the author exactly means by “intermediate” is never addressed—in Litvin’s Code, he claims some form of these exercises can be profitably completed by children as young as 5 years old. One can reasonably assume this particular title is geared toward middle school students. Litvin also claims that the exercises will be fun, but that doesn’t ring true, especially given the remarkably sophisticated options available today that include vividly created characters and compelling storybook narratives. The author’s exercises, whatever their ultimate cognitive value, look like regimented opportunities for mental discipline that will be especially daunting for children experiencing difficulty learning at school.
A workbook that provides a wealth of cognitive drills for readers already committed to the author’s methods.