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. If someone moves slightly towards the word dislike before choosing the word like, what does that indicate?

2. What does the author call self-healing material?

3. What is difficult to do when it comes to sorting young chickens?

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

5. How much of our brain is devoted to sight?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is seeing and what is the most important aspect of seeing?

2. What does Eagleman say Sigmund Freud understood?

3. What is the point of the experiment that Eagleman suggests the reader try?

4. What ways can our vision be fooled?

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

6. Who is Mike May and what happens to him?

7. Why does Eagleman say it is not correct to change lanes by turning the wheel right and then straightening it out?

8. What does Eagleman describe in the opening chapter?

9. What happens to a blind person who recovers his/her sight?

10. What does Eagleman say the experiment with the photographs of women illustrates?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Often, authors will write about "what they know," and sometimes knowing a little about the author makes the books more interesting. Discuss the following:

1. Research and give a brief biographical sketch of Eagleman.

2. What in Eagleman's background may have helped him in writing Incognito? What may have influenced the way he depicts various characters and scenes?

3. Do you think there is always some of the author's own life in his/her books? Why or why not? Give examples.

Essay Topic 2

Eagleman presents the example of an experiment where men were shown photographs of the faces of several women and asked to rate their attractiveness. Photographs where the women's eyes had been dilated were consistently ranked as more attractive. When asked why they had chosen some women as more attractive than others, the subjects did not mention the dilated eyes as a factor, yet they clearly were. Eagleman adds that dilated pupils in a woman indicate a state of sexual arousal, suggesting that the subjects who found these photos more attractive were acting on a natural impulse of their unconscious minds.

1. Do you think attraction is a conscious choice or and unconscious one? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. Discuss one situation in which you were attracted to something, e.g. a person, a food dish, a car, etc. but were not sure why you felt the way you did and relate it to Eagleman's idea of unconscious attraction. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. If Eagleman is correct about why men might be attracted to a woman, what do you think that might mean about most marriages? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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