Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Incognito: The Hidden Life of the Brain Hardcover – April 1, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
Is it narcissistic for humans to be fascinated by the study of our own minds? Probably. But let's face it. The human mind is REALLY interesting, even if we do have to say so ourselves. And David Engleman makes this topic easy to understand with plenty of real-life examples interwoven with the scientific study. Some of the conclusions are expected, some are shocking, and some are important enough to change social policy (if we believe them). This is the print equivalent of a great episode of NOVA. When it's over, you've been entertained, but more importantly, you've learned something. And for those of us who love to read, doesn't that simple desire lay hidden at the base of each reading selection we make?
If you want to really dig deeper into the scientific studies themselves, a comprehensive bibliography is included at the end of the book. You can continue to research to your heart's content by tracking down his source material and reading it for yourself.
Do yourself a favor and read this book. I highly recommend it.
The book, which is grounded in a massive amount of neuroscience research, is written in a conversational manner with lots of analogies and metaphors that make the information both accessible and retrievable. For example, consciousness is described as being like the CEO of a very large company, having little awareness of the details of day-to-day operation, responsible only for setting major goals and for adapting to major changes. While his metaphors become redundant at times (especially "team of rivals," a phrase repeated so often as to become irritating), the author is generally skilled at finding ways to explain complicated processes in a straightforward manner. He also creates opportunities for active engagement by providing optical illusions and mental exercises that help the reader actually experience some of the idiosyncrasies of the brain.
Since I had read some of the Amazon reviews before finishing the book, I was apprehensive about the penultimate chapter on the justice system and the concept of culpability. I thought the main point would be that nobody should be held culpable for misdeeds because so many of our actions are not under our control. But the author clearly states that "explanation does not equal exculpation." He does, however, suggest that although we don't currently have the scientific sophistication to find the biological underpinnings of all deviant behavior, we have learned enough to suggest that we will keep finding more explanations.Read more ›
The ancients always exhorted us to understand ourselves - whether it is the Greek Delphi saying `Know Thyself' or the Indian upanishads with the cryptic `Thathwamasi' which can roughly translated to `That is you'. But they would have never expected the complexity that is in our brains. Fully understanding how the brain works is the holy grail for neuroscientists - however Mr.Eagleman explains how far away we are from this goal.
Our actions are driven by our brain and at the end of the day, the brain is only a set of neurons interacting through electrical and chemical signals. This is easily proven by the effects of various drugs on the brain and how it immediately affects what we think or do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good explanation of what the brain is doing, but not how it does it.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Hooray for what neuroscience is teaching us about us.....fascinating and well done book....technical but intelligible.Published 1 month ago by margaret luttinger
Love this book! David Eagleman has a way to make the info most interesting. His passion for the subject matter shines through.Published 1 month ago by nhwife
it was a fast and enjoyable read. i dont like non-fiction because writing of the genre is usually clumsy editing is worse.but this book was an exception on both cases. Read morePublished 1 month ago by NGT
A detailed look into the brain. I was hoping for advice about how we can use/manipulate our brains for the better, but this was just a book explaining why we think and act the way... Read morePublished 1 month ago by MLeland
This is a delightful read and brings you to understand the fact that "free will" is not so free after all.Published 1 month ago by Andra Miller