Incognito: Book summary and reviews of Incognito by David Eagleman

Incognito

The Secret Lives of the Brain

By David Eagleman

Incognito
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  • Published in USA  May 2011,
    304 pages.

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Book 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

“Written in clear, precise language, the book is sure to appeal to readers with an interest in psychology and the human mind, but it will also please people who just want to know, with a little more clarity, what is going on inside their own skulls." - Booklist

"A fun read by a smart person for smart people…it will attract a new generation to ponder their inner workings." - New Scientist

"Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness." - 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." -Kevin Kelly, Wired Magazine

"A stunning exploration of the 'we' behind the 'I'. Eagleman reveals, with his typical grace and eloquence, all the neural magic tricks behind the cognitive illusion we call reality." - Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide

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David Eagleman is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action as well as the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. His scientific research has been published in journals from Science to Nature, and his neuroscience books include Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia (with Richard Cytowic) and the forthcoming Live-Wired. He is also the author of the internationally best-selling book of fiction Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives.

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