Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

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by David Eagleman
     
 

If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—accounts for only a tiny fraction of the brain’s function, what is all the rest doing? This is the question that David Eagleman—renowned neuroscientist and acclaimed author of Sum—answers in a book as accessible and entertaining as it is deeply informed by startling, up-to-the-minuteSee more details below

Overview

If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—accounts for only a tiny fraction of the brain’s function, what is all the rest doing? This is the question that David Eagleman—renowned neuroscientist and acclaimed author of Sum—answers in a book as accessible and entertaining as it is deeply informed by startling, up-to-the-minute research.
 
Our behavior, thoughts, and experiences are inseparably yoked to a vast, wet, electrochemical network called the nervous system. The machinery is utterly alien to us, and yet, somehow, it is us. In this dazzling journey, David Eagleman plumbs the depths of the brain to illuminate surprising mysteries: Why does the conscious mind know so little about itself? Why can your foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? Why do strippers make more money at certain times of the month? Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret?
 
This mind-blowing voyage into the inner cosmos includes stopovers in mate-selection, synesthesia, beauty, free will, infidelity, artificial intelligence, visual illusions, dreams, and the future of criminal law. Throughout, Eagleman helps us understand how our perceptions of ourselves and our world result from the hidden workings of the most wondrous thing we have ever encountered: the human brain.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307377333
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/31/2011
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
586,506
Product dimensions:
9.34(w) x 6.34(h) x 1.12(d)

Table of Contents

1 There's Someone In My Head, But It's Not Me 1

2 The Testimony of the Senses: What Is Experience Really Like? 20

3 Mind: The Gap 55

4 The Kinds of Thoughts That Are Thinkable 75

5 The Brain Is a Team of Rivals 101

6 Why Blameworthiness Is the Wrong Question 151

7 Life After the Monarchy 193

Appendix 225

Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

Bibliography 255

Index 281

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