Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are "you"? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human?
In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the search for immortality. Strap in for a whistle-stop tour into the inner cosmos. In the infinitely dense tangle of billions of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see in there: you.
This is the story of how your life shapes your brain and how your brain shapes your life. (A companion to the six-part PBS series.)
©2015 David Eagleman (P)2015 Random House Audio
Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.
David Eagleman is not just a great writer, he is also, in my opinion, one of the more creative pioneers in the field of neuroscience. His experiments, at first, seems almost like science fiction. But, to his immense credit, he always makes his propositions seem at least potentially realistic, even to a hardcore skeptic such as myself. He even manages to make fantastical ideas, such as sending a conscious brain simulation to an exoplanet, at the speed of light, or hijacking your brain’s computing power to predict changes at the stock market, seem at least potentially attainable.
On the slightly more negative side I think the book is a bit self serving in the sense that much of the book is devoted to Eagleman’s own research. This is not a huge problem because Eagleman’s research is really really interesting, but still, you get the feeling that a bit more of the book could be devoted to other people’s research.
With this book, Eagleman again demonstrates his ability to convey neuroscience and its potential implications in a thoroughly entertaining style. Still, compared to his previous book, Incognito, (which is probably the best popular neuroscience book I have read), this book was more shallow and less coherent. Don’t get me wrong, it is still one of the best books to read if you want to marvel at the brain and its capacity.
I can not find any faults with this book. My mind was opened to new ideas and the information was easy to digest. David Eagleman's performance was perfect. Excited to watch the PBS series based on this book.
I loved Incognito: The secret life of the brain. At first I was disappointed that this was very similar and simplified version of incognito, but there's just enough new material as well as the future predictions that make it a worthwhile listen. As the author states in the beginning, this is an entry level introduction to his work and is easy to recommend. If you like this then you'll want to read incognito. After that you should read "Thinking fast, thinking slow" because they compliment each other well.
I have read/listened to a number of great books on brain, and I have to admit that this is indeed one of the best brain books I have ever read!
David Eagleman is at the cutting edge of neuroscience research. He combines the latest neuroscience discoveries with a kind of classical philosophy out-of-the-box type of approach. I was already familiar with many of the concepts in this book, having an interest in neuroscience, but he takes each idea and looks at it from a new perspective, taking the concepts to their fascinating theoretical extremes. I had to listen to it in short sessions because he kept blowing my mind over and over. Probably the best neuroscience book I have read, and I have read quite a few.
David Eagleman is good, no doubt, and this is interesting material. Unfortunately for me I'd heard most of it already. This book is explicitly aimed at an audience new to neuroscience, rolls out pretty well known case studies and summary observations that are insightful, stimulating, but quite familiar already for a book published in 2015. Incognito (2011) had a lot of the same.
The delivery, like many audio books, is rather slow but that's a matter of taste. Speeding it up made it l quick and easy. So, I recommend it heartily if it's the first of its kind for you.
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