Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime

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In any case, we're talking about it now, and the talk is incessant, mostly fatheaded and ill mannered, and could use some science. That is, if behavior begins in the brain, how do men's and women's brains differ biologically? How do those biological differences affect their behaviors? Am I, a woman, sentenced to be nurturing and passive? Must my husband be socially dim and clunk his enemies on the head? The answers, the focus of ''Sex on the Brain,'' are sometimes solid, occasionally unconvincing, always incomplete. Such fraught subjects seem to be Deborah Blum's specialty: her last book, ''The Monkey Wars,'' was about animal rights and animal testing.

All now and then during the workweek—usually around three in the afternoon—a accustomed ache begins to saturate my brow and pool in my temples. The glare of my computer screen appears to suddenly intensify. My eyes bite the contour of the same condemn two or three times, yet I fail to extract its meaning. Constant if I began the day carefree, getting through my ever growing catalogue of stories to write and alter, e-mails to send and respond en route for, and documents to read now seems as futile as scaling a bundle that continuously thrusts new stone skyward. There is so much more en route for do—so much work I genuinely enjoy—but my brain is telling me en route for stop.