The TED Conference kicks off today and this year’s meeting of the minds got us thinking about our own brain — or rather, what we can do to boost it. Maria Konnikova’s book Mastermind aims to help you do just that, with a little help from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s a how-to guide to sharpening your mind to think and observe like Sherlock Holmes — in contrast to our usual jump-to-conclusions mindset à la Watson. As Konnikova shows, using both scientific research and fictional Baker Street examples, knowing how to pay attention is not as elementary as it seems.

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