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Life is complicated. Both at work and in our personal lives, we face daily dilemmas requiring complex, critical thought. We sit at our desks and wrack our brains for insight. “Think harder,” we tell ourselves. “Use your head. Focus.”


But renowned science writer Annie Murphy Paul argues for another, more inventive solution: thinking outside our heads. In her book The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain, she shares how a host of extra-neural resources can help us focus more effectively, comprehend more deeply, and create more imaginatively.


In this course, learn the reasoning behind Paul’s persuasive findings and discover practical strategies for improving your cognition with three outside-the-brain resources: your body, surroundings, and relationships.


This course is provided in partnership with the Next Big Idea Club.


This module features video, text, basic interactivity, and knowledge checks.


If you would like a copy of this course authored in a different format, please email

Annie Murphy Paul on Thinking Outside the Brain Module

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