Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David Eagleman
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does one blind rock climber use a mechanical device to help climb?

2. What do dilated eyes have to do with the experiment the author mentions?

3. How do photographs of different races reveal something about the mind?

4. Whose brains must learn to make sense of visual input coming in?

5. By what are thoughts underpinned?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is it an advantage to be able to do things without the use of the conscious mind?

2. What does Eagleman say about the auditory sense?

3. What does Eagleman say our intuition tells us about our experience of the world and is the intuition accurate?

4. What gap does Eagleman explore in Chapter 3?

5. What does Eagleman say Sigmund Freud understood?

6. How does Mike May adjust to his regained sight?

7. What has given greater insight into the workings of the mind since Freud's time?

8. What is another illustration of how one reacts to something before the person is even aware of the situation?

9. What does Eagleman describe in the opening chapter?

10. Summarize the experiment Eagleman writes about concerning photographs of women and how men responded.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Titles often play a vital role in making a person decide to read a particular book. Discuss the following:

1. Fully explain why you think Incognito is titled as such. Do you think it is the best title for the book? Why or why not? Can you think of a better title? Why would you choose it?

2. How important is a title in influencing you to consider reading a book? Explain your answer.

3. Do you think a title needs to have direct relevance to a book's content? Explain your answer.

4. Have you ever read a book that when you finished, you do not understand the relevance of the title? Does it discourage you from "trusting" that particular author again?

Essay Topic 2

Eagleman gives the reader an overview of his ideas about success in Incognito. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss Eagleman's opinions of three topics he discussed in relation to the brain. Do you agree or disagree with him? Why? Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

2. Compare and contrast Eagleman's opinions from Incognito with what you might imagine Eagleman's opinion might be had he lived 100 years ago. How do you think his opinions would change? Would they remain the same? Explain fully. Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

3. Discuss how you think Eagleman's view on several topics from this essay informs his life as a researcher. Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

This kind of social hard-wiring affects our thinking in some interesting ways, Eagleman claims. He gives an example of a difficult logic puzzle involving colors and numbers and asks the reader to solve it. He then presents a different puzzle that has the same underlying logical solution but has been rephrased to make it about people and their ages. He claims that most people find the second puzzle easier to solve than the first, even though they are essentially the same puzzle. The reason, he argues, is that we can more easily process information if we can frame it in a social context.

1. Give an example of a problem that can be put into a social context and easily solved. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. What you think the fact that social context is more real to most humans means to us as animals? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. Discuss the idea that humans are hard wired to be social and that is why married people tend to live longer than single people. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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