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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What problem does Eagleman describe in illustrating how the mind may be divided?

2. What does Eagleton point out in the beginning of the chapter about our senses?

3. What creature does Eagleman use as an example of one with an excellent sense of smell?

4. Why does Eagleman think people find the second puzzle easier to solve?

5. What is hard wired into our brains?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Wilson has cited a number of people in this book. Discuss he following:

1. Choose three people whom Eagleman mentions positively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

2. Choose three people whom Eagleman mentions negatively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

3. Judging what Eagleman says about different people in his text, how would you characterize him as a friend? As a colleague? Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Our conscious minds represent only a small part of the activity of our brains. As evidence, Eagleman refers to the common experience of reacting to something before a person is fully aware of what is happening, such as when a car backs out in front of a driver and the driver has already stepped on the brakes before he fully "sees" the other car. Major league baseball players are able to hit 100-mph fastballs even though they must begin their swing before their brains have had time to visually process the image of the approaching ball.

1. Discuss an incident in your life in which you reacted to a situation before you fully realized what the situation was and relate this to Eagleman's ideas of the unconscious reacting. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. Do you think Eagleman is correct that our conscious minds only represent a small part of the activity of our brains? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. Discuss the ways in which Eagleman's assertion about the unconscious has changed the way you view your behavior. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Much of what motivates us and drives our behavior is hard wired into our brains, Eagleman claims, and he provides several examples to support his argument. Experiments on babies indicate they show a tendency to look at faces. Humans seem to be predisposed, without any prior experience or learning, to be attracted to faces. Newborns also show evidence of recognizing and being attracted to the smell of their mother.

1. Do you think you are motivated by your thoughts or by something hard wired into your brain? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. If motivation is hard wired into us, what do you think is the reason some people force themselves to do something they do not want to do because they think it is the right thing to do? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. Discuss a situation in which you think you were driven or motivated to do something you did not want to do. Do you think it was you genes that drove you? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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