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, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is exceptional about the creature mentioned in question 89?

2. For what was the actor in #109 arrested in 2006?

3. What does the amygdala regulate?

4. What did the group do with the arresting record?

5. What did some commentators say about the incident with the actor?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the physical division in the brain and what can happen if the two hemispheres are severed.

2. What does Eagleman have readers consider about Whitman?

3. What does Chapter 4 explore?

4. Explain the study that was performed on how men rate a woman's attractiveness.

5. What does Eagleman say about our ability to perceive light versus that of insects?

6. What does a team of rivals have to do with the brain?

7. What comparison of thought to wavelengths does Eagleman make?

8. What happens when the frontal cortex is damaged?

9. What does Eagleman suggest about our culpability in our actions, particularly males?

10. What example does Eagleman cite to demonstrate the difference between the rational and emotional mind?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Our intuition tells us that we experience the world as it actually exists, Eagleman explains in chapter two. But we are actually unaware of most of what is happening. We can move an arm and be aware that it has moved, but we are unconscious of the flurry of neural impulses that caused the arm to move. Eagleman proposes an analogy that consciousness is like a newspaper, where complicated processes have been compressed into headlines. We read these "headlines" with our conscious minds while remaining unaware of the full "story."

1. Why do you think our intuition tells us the world we experience actually exists? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. Thinking back to yesterday, discuss ideas, actions or thoughts of which you may not have been aware. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. Do you think humans need to be more aware of the "behind the scenes" of any behavior or action? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and 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

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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