Incognito

Incognito

The Secret Lives of the Brain

eBook - 2011
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"This book will shine light on some of the hard-to-reach places in the brain, showing the ways in which we are not the ones driving the boat. Why does the conscious mind know so little? What do visual illusions unmask about the machinery running under the hood? How much of our lives are determined by choices and behaviors that are hard-wired, unconscious, and beyond our control? Do we have any management over who we find gorgeous or repugnant? How is it possible to get angry at yourself: who exactly, is mad at whom? If the drunk Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite and the sober Mel Gibson is authentically apologetic, is there a real Mel Gibson? Why did Supreme Court Justice William Douglas claim that he was able to play football and go hiking, when everyone could see that he was paralyzed after his stroke? Why do people willingly give up their money to banks for Christmas accounts (and why don't monkeys do this)? Why do patients on Parkinson's medications become compulsive gamblers? Why do athletes follow routines, like bouncing the ball three times before taking a free throw? Why did Charles Whitman suddenly kill his family and shoot forty six others from the UT Austin tower, and what did this have to do with his brain? How much of who we are is in the genes, and how much in the environment? Does free will exist or not, and how does that affect our view of blameworthiness and credit? The emerging understanding of the brain drastically changes our view of ourselves, shifting us from an intuitive sense that we are at the center of the operations, to a more sophisticated, illuminating, and wondrous view of the situation"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2011
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780307379788
0307379787
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (290 p.) : ill

Opinion

From Library Staff

Dr.Eagleman is a neuroscientist and adjunct professor at Stanford University. He provides insight into the unconscious functioning of the brain and the implications for our justice system.


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SeattleSaul
Oct 14, 2018

The mind is a mystery to even the best of scientists. Taking slices of the brain to the tiniest of pieces to find out how thoughts and even consciousness is accomplished, which Eagleman calls “reductionism,” does not work except for the largest areas. A century from now, our knowledge of the brain will seem very primitive by comparison, he believes.
However, we can get some general understanding of the mind by experiments that have been done by asking subjects what they think about various things. He explores the idea of many contending, hidden “yous” beneath the surface and what you think you are thinking seems obvious, because it is the one and only one “you,” but is actually the result of the contending forces. Criminality and proper punishment (rehabilitation?) are also a topic, given that some have predispositions, particularly males, for violence, i.e., they “can’t help it,” and that not all genetic traits are sure to happen, since experience and training figure in.
You will likely learn something from reading this book and will appreciate the humble attitude, common language, and logical approach that Eagleman takes toward this towering subject.

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GrandpaBig
Jul 12, 2017

Eye Opening on how brain really works by one of the foremost experts in the field.

i
Ivan W. Taylor
Nov 06, 2014

This book is another good book about evolutionary psychology, My favorite book on evolutionary psychology is "Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite" but this book is a close second. Like my favorite book, it discusses the multiple mind theory and the problems with free will. He does push a theory about prison reform somewhat much but it was an interesting thought.

WVMLStaffPicks Aug 30, 2014

Eagleman presents an engaging view of how the brain works in this easily readable and informative book. He weaves narrative of real life cases together with his background in neuroscience to illustrate how the human brain functions and how we perceive reality. This is a great read that will keep you engaged from start to finish. You’ll finish the book a little more enlightened and, perhaps, with a different outlook on just what your brain means to you.

c
catwcap
Jul 01, 2012

This is a GREAT book, if you're looking for something intellectually stimulating AND entertaining. Don't bother if you're looking for something closer to a "harry potter" sort of entertainment.

e
elizaray
Jun 03, 2012

I am very interested in all the neuroscience books that have been coming out on the workings of the brain. This book added to my knowledge and challenged me with new ideas about our control of our lives. Recommended!

joyhuebert Feb 09, 2012

Just when I was about to give up existentialism based on the author's belief that consciousness is a small part of the brain that is probably almost completely controlled by the organic mind, he reverses his position and claims that life is a mystery! A very gripping read about new discoveries of the brain.

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