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 is exceptional about the creature mentioned in question 89?

2. What does Eagleman think is a good model for how the brain works?

3. What studies does Eagleman look at in this chapter?

4. Who is Charles Whitman?

5. What does Eagleton think many sub-routines of our mind are doing?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

This time that it takes for us to process sensory input is not sensed by us, Eagleman claims. We imagine we are living and perceiving the outside world in the present, but because of this delay required to make sense of what we experience we are actually living a few milliseconds in the past. Time, like vision and the other senses, he argues, is a construct of the brain. It is a "rich illusion" (p. 54) that we cannot completely uncover.

1. Do you think time is fluid? In other words, is a minute always the same length of time? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. Discuss the idea that if Eagleman is correct about the present moment that in reality a present moment never exists. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. What do you think is meant by the statement that time is a construct of the brain? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

Incognito belongs to the non-fiction genre. Discuss the following:

1. Define the literary term "genre" and give several examples of three other genres in addition to the non-fiction genre.

2. Discuss two reasons why it might be useful to label a text by genre and two reasons it might be disadvantageous to label a text by genre.

3. What do you think is the difference between a nonfiction book and a novel?

(see the answer keys)

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