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)
very interesting, Enjoyable, Easy listening.
and clearly this is meant for a lay audience, I dont think anyone with a serious interest in neuroscience field will spend hours to listen to it.
As an educator, I found this book fascinating. It definitely helped expand my understanding of how the brain works. I am especially interested in David Eagleman's idea of the "prefrontal workout" and how that could be translated into education.
Who knew? The frontal cortex as the big chief - running the show - in control - what you think you know about yourself and how you work is pretty well overturned by this book - neat stories and popular science combine to illuminate just how 'out of control' we really are on a minute-to-minute basis throughout our lives. Don't kid yourself you are the boss...you don't see the strings being pulled inside your own head...fascinating.
on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...
This book is about how much our subconscious minds do and what a small part our conscious minds play in most of our daily tasks. David Eagleman is a neuroscientist so you're getting science straight from the source and he writes clearly and, at times elegantly. He also narrates the book and, I must say, I'd love to have him read more titles. He does a much better job than some of the non-author narrators I've listened to.
This is my first book about brain science but I do a LOT of "sci-nonfi" and I found it so compelling that I started it again as soon as I finished it; I can't say that about many other books I've listened to.
I think Eagleman separates the subconscious from the conscious a bit too profoundly--for instance he laughs at us for saying, "I just came up with this great idea!" (emphasis on the letter I) when he says it's the subconscious that's really worked out the problem. That may be so but is the subconscious not part of ME?? He says that one of the great roles of the conscious minds is in setting goals to which we dedicate our brains. Do I not deserve some of the credit for setting my subconscious to the task? Also, being a student of martial arts to some degree, I have seen a marked increase in my reflexive actions. That would fall under the subconscious control but I think my conscious mind deserves a bit of credit too. Regardless, it's a fun ride.
One of Eagleman's primary topics is our justice system and how we sentence wrong-doers. I found that somewhat less intriguing but perhaps it's more so to you.
Overall I would rank this quite high in the 20-30 science books I've listened to from Audible.
Instructional Designer is the area of Workforce Development.
I am a college instructor and I found this audio-book a must for anyone working with very diverse groups. David points out social norms that are part of the human brain makeup. His teachings will help me manage my approach in working with large diverse groups in the classroom and understanding social bias.
The author's narration didn't sound like an actor, so it was a little less graceful, but it did sound like a brilliant and interesting man who knows his stuff and is really excited about the research. I felt like drives in my car were one-on-one time with a favorite professor. Really great material. I'll By the book.
Jefery R.Campbell, PhD
To be able identify some of various we use our mind
The study that the pretty girls facing the men.
the determining factor was nothing more than whether the subjects eyes were dialated. Many great cases, also.
It really caused me to want to take my and learn to develop better
I was very disappointed given the positive reviews I had read. The book is very superficial and left me hanging.
This fascinating and well-read book reveals that your subconscious mind is really a computing powerhouse capable of solving incredibly complex problems in nanoseconds.
Eagleman's narration is excellent. I just read a review that said the author "exclaimed" his views instead of reading them from the page. Eagleman certainly reads with enthusiasm but I never had to adjust the volume because of it. I certainly prefer an enthusiastic reading to one that puts the listener to sleep.
I loved the first few chapters of this book. Very informative and educational about how the brain works - pretty amazing stuff. Lots of really good examples of the many unconscious "zombie" functions we go through all day long (even as I think up what to say in this review!)
The segments about physical attraction and "personal" preferences were intriguing.
Once he started getting into the details (for WAY too long) of why Mel Gibson might have had his anti-semitism meltdown, I started losing interest. Then we delve into the criminal mind and start lecturing about how the justice system needs to work with the specifics of peoples' brain condition... well, my brain started to wander off.
Well read by the author though. He could narrate other books and I'd listen!
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