Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain

by David Eagleman

Penguin Canada | May 1, 2012 | Trade Paperback

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If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—is just the tip of the iceberg in the brain, what is all the rest doing? In Incognito, neuroscientist David Eagleman plumbs the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising questions: Why can your foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you are consciously aware of danger ahead? Why do strippers make more money at certain times of the month, although no one is consciously aware of their fertility level? Is there a true Mel Gibson? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? How is your brain like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war? Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? Why did Supreme Court Justice William Douglas deny that he was paralyzed? This subsurface exploration includes diversions into brain damage, drugs, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, the future of artificial intelligence, and visual illusions—all highlighting how our perception of the world is a hidden and awe-inspiring construction of the brain.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.85 in

Published: May 1, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143172433

ISBN - 13: 9780143172437

Found in: Science and Nature

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– More About This Product –

Incognito: The Secret Lives Of The Brain

by David Eagleman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.25 × 5.25 × 0.85 in

Published: May 1, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143172433

ISBN - 13: 9780143172437

Read from the Book

There’s Someone In My Head, But It’s Not Me   Take a close look at yourself in the mirror. Beneath your dashing good looks churns a hidden universe of networked machinery. The machinery includes a sophisticated scaffolding of interlocking bones, a netting of sinewy muscles, a good deal of specialized fluid, and a collaboration of internal organs chugging away in darkness to keep you alive. A sheet of high-tech self-healing sensory material that we call skin seamlessly covers your machinery in a pleasing package.   And then there’s your brain. Three pounds of the most complex material we’ve discovered in the universe. This is the mission control center that drives the whole operation, gathering dispatches through small portals in the armored bunker of the skull.   Your brain is built of cells called neurons and glia—hundreds of billions of them. Each one of these cells is as complicated as a city. And each one contains the entire human genome and traffics billions of molecules in intricate economies. Each cell sends electrical pulses to other cells, up to hundreds of times per second. If you represented each of these trillions and trillions of pulses in your brain by a single photon of light, the combined output would be blinding.   The cells are connected to one another in a network of such staggering complexity that it bankrupts human language and necessitates new strains of mathematics. A typical neuron makes about ten thous
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From the Publisher

If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—is just the tip of the iceberg in the brain, what is all the rest doing? In Incognito, neuroscientist David Eagleman plumbs the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising questions: Why can your foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you are consciously aware of danger ahead? Why do strippers make more money at certain times of the month, although no one is consciously aware of their fertility level? Is there a true Mel Gibson? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? How is your brain like a conflicted democracy engaged in civil war? Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? Why did Supreme Court Justice William Douglas deny that he was paralyzed? This subsurface exploration includes diversions into brain damage, drugs, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, the future of artificial intelligence, and visual illusions—all highlighting how our perception of the world is a hidden and awe-inspiring construction of the brain.

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.




From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“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 Incognit
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