A successful Wall Street trader turned neuroscientist reveals how risk taking and stress transform our body chemistry
Before he became a world-class scientist, John Coates ran a derivatives trading desk in New York City. He used the expression “the hour between dog and wolf” to refer to the moment of Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation traders passed through when under pressure. They became cocky and irrationally risk-seeking when on a winning streak, tentative and risk-averse when cowering from losses. In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Coates identified a feedback loop between testosterone and success—one that can cloud men’s judgment in high-pressure decision-making. Coates demonstrates how our bodies produce the fabled gut feelings we so often rely on, how stress in the workplace can impair our judgment and even damage our health, and how sports science can help us toughen our bodies against the ravages of stress. Revealing the biology behind bubbles and crashes, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf sheds new and surprising light on issues that affect us all.
Financial Times Best Books of 2012 – Science
Foreign Policy Must Read 2012 Books from Global Thinkers
“A profoundly unconventional book… It’s also so absorbing that I wound up reading it twice… From the first page to the last, Coates challenges deep-seated assumptions.”— Bloomberg Businessweek
“If anyone is qualified to unify the seemingly disparate subjects of financial markets and neurology, it’s John Coates…The Hour Between Dog and Wolf is a powerful distillation of his work—and an important step in the ongoing struggle to free economics from rational-actor theory.”—The Daily Beast
“[I]t makes intuitive sense that biological responses inform the mood of the markets. This book puts flesh on that idea.”—The Economist