By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
By David Eagleman (Text Publishing, $34.95, softcover, 290 pages)
You don’t need to have specialist knowledge to understand this fascinating insight into the machinations of the brain—and its connection with the consciousness.
David Eagleman provides a thought-provoking explanation about how the mind works, without us thinking about it!
The book’s full of impressive ideas and jam-packed with facts and occurrences.
The neuroscientist examines the depths of the subconscious to reveal a world that’s concealed, and he does so using simple English that’s enlightening.
Best known for his work on time perception, synesthesia and neurolaw, Eagleman delights in pulling apart the idea that we have much control over what we think and do.
Complex actions being undertaken without problems “by excluding conscious interference” is an engaging thought.
Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to keep a secret or why your foot is already jumping on the brake pedal before you even become aware of potential danger on the road?
Our mental operations occur “incognito”.
Here’s a novel perspective: our conduct, feelings and encounters are inseparably linked to a hidden universe of networked machinery which 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…”.
Driving this whole operation is the brain—the mission control centre.
Worthy of note is the fact that “we’re the only system on the planet so complex that we’ve thrown ourselves headlong into the game of deciphering our own programming language”.
This rousing examination of the mind and all its inconsistencies makes for an incredible story.
Edition 335, 16 October 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.