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Book Review: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

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Remember the old adage that we use only 10% of our brains? It’s a myth; we actually are using most of our brains almost all the time. In his latest book, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain (published in paperback in May 2012), professor of neuroscience at the Baylor College of Medicine David Eagleman explains the surprising ways the brain actually works.

An accessible and entertaining tour of modern brain science, Incognito covers artificial intelligence, brain damage, drugs, synesthesia, visual illusions, and much more. Eagleman also considers the implications of modern research on society, particularly criminal law. Along the way, he shatters the traditional view of our conscious selves being in charge of what we do.

Eagleman is a bit of a media star (he was profiled in The New Yorker and interviewed on the NPR show Fresh Air). He is also author of Sum: Forty Tales from Afterlives in which he ponders in fiction what might become of us after death.

Eagleman is an interesting guy whose work thought-provoking to read and listen to, and his book should be required reading for all brain owners.

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About Nancy Fontaine

Nancy Fontaine is a librarian and freelance writer living in New Hampshire with her husband, two cats, and every four years during presidential primary season, the national press.