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The Brain

The Story of You
Narrated by: David Eagleman
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (389 ratings)

Regular price: $24.50

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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awe-inspiring book, but not Eagleman's best

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.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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an easy entry for "incognito: abridged"

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • CD
  • 10-14-15

Accessible and enlightening

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • AF
  • 10-20-15

Amazing book for anyone interested in the brain functioning!

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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just superb.

gave me a new perspective on how people see things differently depending on their position.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book!!

This was a great great book! The author’s voice was pleasant and the subject is fascinating!! Highly recommend!!

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Entertaining

I don't feel this book actually talked that much about the brain... I thought the author dove too much into social causes he's passionate for, that got preachy, rather than the topic at hand. as an AI data scientist, he was pushing it by the end of the book. Many dogmatic statements of facts that are actually opinions.

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a must read for any human

David does magnificent Java translating science into term set everybody can understand.

this book is a human users manual

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  • Martina
  • South Lake Tahoe, CA
  • 09-23-18

Well done!

There are only an handful of people who are this passionate about their research who can also explain it to the rest of us. These few make us want to explore in more detail and devour anything they write. David Eagleman falls into the few like, Oliver Sacks, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and etc are people who can light a fire in our brains. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at Stanford University years ago and would encourage anyone to jump on he chance to hear him speak.

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A mind-opening on the possibilities of the brain

If you have any interest in Neuroscience and the Neurocognitive Processing of the human brain this book explains also to newcomers what progress the field has made in the past decade along side the studies and theories that are prevalent in these days. It's a great introductory book for who is curious and is undecided if they want to delve into these studies, for the casual reader and for the pros that would like to read a narrative prospective on these studies. I'm definitely going to recommend this book to friends and family, especially to the ones that have no idea of why I'm fascinated by these topics.