Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain


By (author) David M Eagleman

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 290 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 203mm x 15mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 15 May 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307389928
  • ISBN 13: 9780307389923
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: figures
  • Sales rank: 16,498

Product description

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 book, renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate its surprising mysteries. Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? Is there a true Mel Gibson? How is your brain like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? Why are people whose names begin with J more like to marry other people whose names begin with J? And why is it so difficult to keep a secret? 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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Author information

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," "Why the Net Matters," and the forthcoming "Live-Wired." He is also the author of the internationally best-selling book of fiction "Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives."

Review quote

"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" "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 fun read by a smart person for smart will attract a new generation to ponder their inner workings." -"New Scientist ""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 " "Original and provocative...Incognito is a smart, captivating book that will give you a prefrontal workout." "-Nature ""Incognito is fun to read, full of neat factoids and clever experiments...Eagleman says he's looking to do for neuroscience what Carl Sagan did for astrophysics, and he's already on his way." -"Texas Monthly"" ""Although "Incognito" is face-paced, mind-bending stuff, it's a book for regular folks. Eagleman does a brilliant job refining heavy science into a compelling read. He is a gifted writer." -"Houston Chronicle" "A popularizer of impressive gusto...[Eagleman] aims, grandly, to do for the study of the mind what Copernicus did for the study of the stars." -"New York Observer" "The journey to the heart of neurological darkness is also a kind of safari, and we spend a lot of time taking in the marvelous birds...Incognito proposes a grand new account of the relationship between consciousness and the brain. It is full of dazz