Summary of The Backwards Brain Bicycle

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Rating

8 Overall

7 Applicability

10 Innovation

7 Style


Recommendation

Riding a bike is child’s play, right? Yet when engineer Destin Sandlin decided to unlearn that skill, he discovered deep layers of complexity involved in performing this seemingly mundane action. In this quirky video, Sandlin documents his experiences in coming to understand the intricacies of neural pathways and entrenched habits. getAbstract recommends his mind-bending investigation to those who wish to rethink their own stubborn cognitive biases.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why entrenched neural pathways make riding a bike easy and
  • How to unlearn an entrenched cognitive bias such as riding a bike.
 

About the Speaker

Engineer Destin Sandlin is the host of educational video series Smarter Every Day.

 

Summary

The maxim “it’s just like riding a bike”refers to an easy task that once learned is impossible to forget. But as engineer Destin Sandlin learned to his chagrin, this designation is a misnomer. Sandlin’s friend, a welder, built a “backwards bike” – one that turned left when steered right, and vice versa – and dared Sandlin to cycle it. On the surface, this didn’t seem like that much of a challenge, so Sandlin hopped on. He quickly realized that, despite having learned to cycle as a kid, he couldn’t ride this modified bike. His thinking about cycling was deeply ingrained. Even though he knew how the backwards bike operated, he lacked the understanding to make it work. He had to learn to rewire his neural pathways before he could cycle the backwards bike effortlessly.


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