Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $8.36 (31%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by eroush8
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This is a used text book with underlings and markings. Cover has wear. I want to thank you for looking at my item.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain Hardcover – May 31, 2011


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.59
$8.00 $3.14


Frequently Bought Together

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain + Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ + The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
Price for all three: $38.51

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; First Edition edition (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307377334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307377333
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (337 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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 people…it 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 dazzling ideas, as it is chockablock with facts and instances.” –The New York Observer   
 
“Incognito does the right thing by diving straight into the deep end and trying to swim. Eagleman, by imagining the future so vividly, puts into relief just how challenging neuroscience is, and will be.” –Boston Globe 
 
“Appealing and persuasive.” –Wall Street Journal

“Eagleman has a nice way with anecdotes and explanations…delightful.” –The Observer’s Very Short List
 
“Eagleman presents difficult neuroscience concepts in an energetic, casual voice with plenty of analogies and examples to ensure that what could easily be an overwhelming catalog of facts remains engaging and accessible…the ideas in Eagleman’s book are well-articulated and entertaining, elucidated with the intelligent, casual tone of an enthusiastic university lecturer.” –The Millions
 
“A fascinating, dynamic, faceted look under the hood of the conscious mind...Equal parts entertaining and illuminating, the case studies, examples and insights in Incognito are more than mere talking points to impressed at the next dinner party, poised instead to radically shift your understanding of the world, other people, and your own mind.” –Brain Pickings

“Eagleman engagingly sums up recent discoveries about the unconscious processes that dominate our mental life.” –The New York Times Book Review 
 
“Fascinating…Eagleman has the ability to turn hard science and jargon into interesting and relatable prose, illuminating the mind’s processes with clever analogies and metaphors.” –Salt Lake City Weekly
 
“A great beach read.“ –Philadelphia City Paper
 
“Touches on some of the more intriguing cul-de-sacs of human behavior.“ –Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Startling…It’s a book that will leave you looking at yourself—and the world—differently.” –Austin American Statesman
 
“Incognito feels like learning the secrets of a magician. In clear prose, Eagleman condenses complex concepts and reinforces his points through analogies, pop culture, current events, optical illusions, anecdotes, and fun facts.” –Frontier Psychiatrist
 
“One of those books that could change everything.” –Sam Snyder, blog

“Sparkling and provocative…a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.” –Louisville Courier-Journal  
 
“Buy this book. The pithy observations, breezy language and wow-inducing anecdotes provide temporary pleasure, but the book’s real strength is in its staying power.“ –Science News
 
“A whirlwind, high-definition look at the neural underpinnings of our everyday thinking and perception…fascinating.” –Brettworks.com

“Eagleman embodies what is fascinating, fun, and hopeful about modern neuroscience.” –Brainstorm.com  
 
“After you read Eagleman’s breezy treatment of the brain, you will marvel at how much is illusory that we think is real, and how we sometimes function out autopilot without consciously knowing what is happening…This is a fascinating book.” –The Advocate
 
“A pleasure to read…If a reader is looking for a fun but illuminating read, Incognito is a good choice. With its nice balance between hard science and entertaining anecdotes, it is a good alternative to the usual brainless summer blockbusters.” –Deseret News
 
“Funny, gripping and often shocking…Eagleman writes great sentences of the sort that you might be inclined to read to those in your general vicinity.” –bookotron.com

Incognito reads like a series of fascinating vignettes, offering plenty of pauses for self-reflection. Eagleman’s anecdotes are funny and easily tie to the concepts he explains. Moreover, his enthusiasm for the subject is obvious and contagious.” –Spectrum Culture

Incognito is popular science at its best…beautifully synthesized.” –Boston Globe Best of 2011

About the Author

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.


More About the Author

I'm a neuroscientist during the day and a writer at night. As a believer in the endeavor of popular science, I travel frequently to give public lectures. It has been an incredible pleasure to meet warm, funny, like-minded readers everywhere I visit.

Related Media


Customer Reviews

I have read Eagleman's book with great interest.
Karsten Koch
Author David Eagleman presents the latest research about the human brain in an engaging way that is understandable to the general reader.
B. McEwan
The more we understand how the brain works, the better understanding we will have about ourselves and society.
Book Shark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,710 of 1,880 people found the following review helpful By whiteelephant on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps I shouldn't have read this book. I am a neuroscientist, and clearly this is meant for a lay audience, however I often enjoy such books for their concise synthesis of research and the freedom they give the author to speculate. Unfortunately it became clear quickly that this would not be such a book - p.19 announces that the author is from the Malcolm Gladwell school of nonfiction "Why was Topsy the elephant electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1919? ... is there a real Mel Gibson? ... why do strippers make more money at certain times of month?" Ask intriguing questions, link them with vague explanations, file them under a catchy one-word title, and voila NY Times bestseller. While I have little doubt that this book will do well commercially and be enjoyed by many, I cannot recommend it to anyone with a serious interest in neuroscience.

While chapter two is a solid introduction to perception as inference, it is downhill from there. It becomes clear that Eagleman is not interested in any systematic review of the unconscious factors that influence our decisions, but is merely interested in presenting flashy examples. This by itself wouldn't be so objectionable, if he had actually come up with interesting and novel examples, instead of simply reciting old standards and cribbing from other authors. Eagleman has borrowed so much of his material that V.S. Ramachandran should demand royalties. However, Eagleman apparently hasn't read Ramachandran carefully enough, as he references his paper "Why do gentlemen prefer blondes?", apparently unaware that the paper was satirical. How embarrassing.

Eagleman attempts to go beyond the flashy examples in Chapter 5, declaring that the brain is a "team of rivals." This reference to D.K.
Read more ›
90 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is not only fascinating, but beautifully written. An example: "Your consciousness is like a tiny stowaway on a transatlantic steamship, taking credit for the journey without acknowledging the massive engineering underfoot" (pg 4). To anyone interested in the mind, it will be an illuminating read, because even if you have heard of some of the individual experiments mentioned in this book, this book pulls them all together into a revealing exploration of what the non-conscious part of the brain does, and how this all relates to aware consciousness.

As I read it, I feel like I am watching an excellent science documentary series. It is the best non-fiction book I have read in a long time. However, a caveat: cognitive science and artificial intelligence are some of my areas, so I do not know how interesting the book will be as a popular science book for the general audience.

The book contains some proposals, predictions, and speculations that are not yet borne out. It makes some strong claims about what consciousness is not, and how it emerges from the activities of the non-aware parts of brain activity. I find this interesting, but to some, this may detract. It certainly sets the stage for future work.

The one chapter that did not work so well was where he speculated on the legal system and how our notions of punishment should be altered as a consequence of things learned about neurology. It was less grounded and just contained a lot of hand waving.

There was an interesting profile of the author recently published in New Yorker magazine (April 25, 2011, p. 54-65). For me it made the book even richer by having first read the profile, to understand the interests, motivations, and background of the author. If you are interested in reading this book, you may enjoy reading the New Yorker profile first.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I do not spend much time thinking about my heart as it dependably beats away every second. I do not ponder the vital work of my kidneys as they silently clear poisons and balance my bloodstream chemicals. There are thousands of physiological processes which I take for granted and, since I am in good health and they are not failing, I never consider. I do, however, spend some time every day in mystified awe thinking about thinking, and how it is that the three pound bag of neurons I carry around in my head is able to generate consciousness, to remember a word not used in years, to come up with a funny remark, or to string words together in a sensible fashion. It would not be so mysterious if I could feel something going on, but no firing of any neuron nor recruitment of any ganglion registers as a process; it all just happens, and though it is happening right inside my cranium, the place where I mostly think "I" am located, I can't know directly about most of my own cerebral activity. I don't think I will ever stop being astonished by this, even though we do have some good explanations of what our brains are doing at those levels below our consciousness. In fact, though we are rightly proud of our consciousness and what it can do and all the paradoxes connected to it, consciousness isn't the main thing our brains do. This is the big lesson in _Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain_ by neuroscientist David Eagleman. In fact, he says, "Your consciousness is like a tiny stowaway on a transatlantic steamship, taking credit for the journey without acknowledging the massive engineering underfoot." His book is a delightful look at some of that engineering. It is clearly written, and anyone who has a brain will find lots to be amazed at here.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews