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Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain Hardcover – May 31 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (May 31 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670063924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670063925
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #174,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a New York Times bestselling author. His books have been translated into 27 languages. Eagleman heads the Laboratory for Perception and Action at Baylor College of Medicine, and is the founding Director of the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. He is the author and presenter of the PBS series The Brain.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It really is amazing how much of our brain's functioning occurs without our knowing about it (i.e. below our consciousness). Neuroscience has made remarkable progress ferreting out what is going on in our grey matter and Dr. Eagleman does an outstanding job of summarizing some highlights in straightforward, readily understood language. His book happily flows along and is chalk full of intriguing little anecdotes suitable for captivating your friends at cocktail parties.

For me, among the most interesting tidbits was learning that the human brain operates as a collection of competing subagents (or subroutines) each battling for control of our behaviour. As Dr. Eagleman says, the brain works rather like a representative democracy, which means familiar concepts like "arguing with yourself" or "cajoling yourself to do something," actually make a lot of sense neurologically.

Other topics touched on include; the vastness of our unconscious mind, how our vision is more a construct of our minds than a reflection of reality, the role of consciousness in setting goals for memory, when and when not to blame or hold people responsible for their behaviour and a brief look at the philosophical implications of the neuroscience examined - from a purely materialist perspective, naturally.

All in all, Incognito is a fun and fascinating book that is well worth a read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Hay on Sept. 2 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating and compelling discussion of how our brains function, all without our awareness. In addition, the author provides explanation for some very disturbing crimes -- disturbing because the causes could happen to any of us. He makes a very good case for changing how we think about and deal with criminals. I enjoyed the book and felt I learned so much that I gifted a copy to a friend.
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By Sweetpea on Jan. 16 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pretty interesting book with some neat facts. However, it did lose my interest at some points.
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