This delightfully well written book uses everyday English to explain an incredibly complicated subject. In his introduction, Johnson states the obvious - that most Neuroscience books assume a certain baseline knowledge of the brain which your average person lacks. He wants this to be an approachable book, so he keeps the technical terms to a minimum, always explaining them first and using real world examples of how they apply.
Many scientists would criticize his methods - namely, using himself as his primary test subject. If he were trying to prove new science rather than explain information to a new audience, I would agree. Instead, I found his quest to understand the inner workings of his own brain fascinating. I found myself wondering what a fMRI would reveal about me, wondering what I'd learn from neurofeedback, wanting to try the various attention tests he describes, and wanting desperately to play computer games controlled by my own brain waves.
In addition to being well written, I find this book well organized. Johnson starts with a broad introduction, a sort of guided tour of the brain. He then breaks the brain up into numerous modules, explains how those modules work individually and more important, how they work in concert with other brain modules. The end result is incredibly complex without any individual stops on the tour being overwhelming.
Unlike many pop science books, he doesn't try to lump people into distinct categories, instead opting to present everything as a set of overlapping spectrums. He furthermore suggests you have the power to change where you are on spectrums through conscious choice. Moving from one end to another might be wishful thinking, but becoming a little more this or a little less that just requires determination and work.
For me, the most significant parts of the book were the explanations of the autism spectrum and the facial expression reading skills. Johnson warns that after you learn a little about these, you'll find yourself analyzing your friends and family. That's very true. For the first time, I found myself capable of understanding and even enjoying the company of someone I know with Aspeger's. A little context made a world of difference.
If you're not familiar with neuroscience, this book can have a real impact on how you perceive people around you - in my opinion, for the better.
I don't casually pick up books on neuroscience, so I was pleasantly surprised by just how good this one is. It's one I know I'll read again. I can't recommend it enough.