Friday, July 20, 2012

Neuroscientist David Eagleman on Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Back in 2011, neuroscientist David Eagleman spoke with Wired's David Rowan about his then-new book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain. I seriously enjoyed this book as an excellent complementary text to Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Here is the text from the dust jacket:
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?  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 become consciously aware of danger ahead?  Why do strippers make more money at certain times of month, even while 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? The subsurface exploration includes waystops in 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.

At The Hospital Club on 6 April 2011, Wired magazine's editor David Rowan sat down in conversation with David Eagleman, neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The SecretLives of The Brain, who spoke at length about some of the fascinating insights contained within it. The invite-only conversation is now available to all in the video below.

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