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.
©2011 David Eagleman (P)2011 Random House
"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)
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".
Say something about yourself!
Excellent exploration of how your brain works and what it means to your identity and behavior.
This book is so interesting!! Every few minutes you'll learn something you didn't know before! Engaging, well written, and well narrated by the author.
Hacker obsessed with the mind and the future.
It was great to listen to it being read by the author himself. This book has kept me thinking long after listening to it. For weeks I kept referencing the book when having discussions about the mind with friends.
No, other similar books would cover topic without a couse in humanist sociology
David Eagleman tries to convince his readers that we all walking the planet as zombies.
Not sure but the audio version was very well done.
Loved the tone, pace, flow of information and especially the rhetorical (and not rhetorical) questions asked throughout the book.
This book was recommended to me; and I loved this book so much that I listened to it twice. I recommended it to a co-worker and he did the same. Very engaging and interesting book.
I am torn by this book. On one hand it was a fun read. But it lacks some of the mental challenge that I enjoy in a book of popular science. I enjoy a little more depth to the explanations of research. Did he do any of the research or was he borrowing and cribbing from real researchers? I lean toward the second. If you have a lay person's interest in neurology and the workings of the mind, much of the first 4-5 chapters is nothing you haven't read before. Interesting condition upon interesting condition is quickly discussed for the "oooh" and "aaaah" factor. Chapter six has a mad, voice-crying-out-in-the-desert quality. It reads something like, "Why doesn't anyone listen to me? I have the answers that will solve the world's problems with crime and criminals!" Frankly, it can get more than a little redundant and tedious in that section. Still, I can't completely trash the book. Though it wasn't as scientific as I prefer, it was a fun quick read about the brain, its functions and malfunctions. Perhaps I've read too much popular neurology for this to be fresh for me. If you haven't read that much you might enjoy it greatly. It could spur greater interest in the field.
Some science writing has great writing (e.g. Gladwell). Some science writing has great science (e.g., Khaneman). This book has both AND personable narration by the author. Highly recommended.
Since I work in the criminal law arena, the conclusions reached were interesting and should be thought provoking to the court system. I have known for a long time that the brain is one of the last unexplored areas on our earth. I hope 50 years from now we do not look back on how we deal with people with mental health differences and cringe at the lack of knowledge we had.
Just an all around awesome person.
The author presents the information in a well thought out and easily understood way. at no point in this book was i bored or trailing off. Thanks David.
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