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Incognito Audiobook

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

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Publisher's Summary

If the conscious mind—the part you consider to be you—is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing?

In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries: Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? Why do you hear your name being mentioned in a conversation that you didn’t think you were listening to? What do Ulysses and the credit crunch have in common? Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant in 1916? Why are people whose names begin with J more likely to marry other people whose names begin with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? And how is it possible to get angry at yourself—who, exactly, is mad at whom?

Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence, and visual illusions, Incognito is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 David Eagleman (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

"Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness.” (The New Yorker)

“Your mind is an elaborate trick, and mastermind David Eagleman explains how the trick works with great lucidity and amazement. Your mind will thank you.” (Wired magazine)

“A fun read by a smart person for smart people.… it will attract a new generation to ponder their inner workings.” (New Scientist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1227 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lynn 07-07-11
    Lynn 07-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For the Novice"

    The neuroscientist could find faults with David Eagleman’s Icognito, but I learned a lot and followed the various topics just fine. Along the way, there were insights of great benefit to me and, frankly, exciting to think about. Eagleman’s forte is taking technical literature and present it to the ordinary guy – me. Essentially, Inconito is an indepth consideration of the unconscious (I would refer saying in this case – preconscious) thinking and how it works. The sections that really helped me to better understand our behavior involved discussions of thought patterns that have become a part of our DNA. Our brains are constantly looking for form and symmetry in what we perceive and Eagleman tells us the why and how that is done. The implications for our daily lives are spread before the reader like a buffet. Anyone can benefit by a reading of this book. Eagleman reads his own book to great advantage to the Audible listener.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa United States 10-20-11
    Lisa United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2016

    Mark Twain

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    "Interesting and Very Well Read!"
    Where does Incognito rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I've heard so far!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Incognito?

    I can't believe that this author is both smart enough to understand all this stuff AND well-spoken enough to give an excellent performance in his narration.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The content is super interesting and thought-provoking.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were so many points he made that had never crossed my mind before, but he articulated them in a very easy-to-understand manner.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to anyone who loves the brain and/or is fascinated by human thought!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Symonds 09-05-11
    Symonds 09-05-11
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    "Great for laypeople...sorta"

    Loved the book overall. I'm not a scientist or a doctor, but I've read my fair share of related books for laypeople and was easily able to follow along because of it. Aside from some questionable brain exercises, Eagleman clearly and entertainingly lays out an (obviously over-)simplified explanation of the sub-conscious mind to explore how we become who we are. A good, basic picture depicting the state of our quest to understand the origin of conscious thought and a scientific understanding of the human "soul".

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 08-03-11
    Kathy 08-03-11
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    "The Neil deGrasse Tyson of Neuroscience!!"

    The author narrates this book- which as we all know can be problematic. Not in this case... Just like Neil deGrasse David pulled this reader in first with his enthusiasm for his chosen topic, second with his ability to make it understandable for a non expert in the field and third in his ability to make it relevant to her everyday life.

    Kudo's!

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hans Post Falls, ID, United States 06-21-11
    Hans Post Falls, ID, United States 06-21-11
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    "Great book overall, very interesting"

    Great book overall, very interesting, but... he keeps using studies referenced by Malcolm Gladwell in "Blink" which I found redundant.

    Like the "racist test" and the "money card experiment."

    I would have liked to hear more of the implications, instead of just observations. I mean, it's all very interesting but what to do with this information?

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    startup_eng1 Tavares, Florida United States 06-18-16
    startup_eng1 Tavares, Florida United States 06-18-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Very Interesting"

    Less scientific than most books on the same subject. Makes some great points. In particular, raises the point that pursuit of understanding the brain and mind through materialism and reductionism may be limited. I recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tintin Chicago IL 05-06-16
    Tintin Chicago IL 05-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Too short."

    The author/narrator makes a strong case for admitting our "self" is a product, more than anything, of complex neurological structure reacting with a fluid environment outside of and prior to our awareness. On the question of free will he basically says "no but It's ok," and explains both. A chapter is devoted to how the legal system could be reformed to reflect current understanding of brain disorders, which of course come in all gradations. Basically you try to prevent future crime, whether it means punishment, rehabilitation, or incarceration. Don't simply punish bad behavior. That's crude and -- given what we now know-- stupid.

    Here's a shocking bit: There is a set of genes which, of you have them, make you 10 times more likely to commit murder, 8 times more likely to commit aggregated assault, 13 times for armed robbery, and *44 times* more likely to commit sexuality's assault. 98% of people on death row have this combination of genes. *And fully half the population carries them.*


    .. there is a simple test to see if you have it ... look down. It's the Y Chromosome.

    Lots of important fun stuff like this is discussed, leaving me with a bit of a new perspective. And nice to have it read by the author himself.

    Ok I found the last chapter a bit ... speculative? ... repetitive? ... conversational? ... unnecessary? But it's a top shelf book in my library, I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Christina Wheeler 03-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Humbling"

    This is for anyone whose brain network is geared toward curiosity. If it's not maybe you should start that network now. Loved!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Therater 02-21-16
    Therater 02-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wow"

    Mind blowing, completely changed my view of this sensitive thing between my ears. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    carrieandcorgi 01-23-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Mind blowing"

    While on my own personal quest to answer the question Who am I? Where did I come from? And who the hell are you? I came across "Incognito." Challenging , intelligent and at times hilarious, I think I got what I came for. Thoroughly enjoyed it. It's my new go-to Book whenever I need a soothing rAtional voice in my head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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