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 did the group do with the arresting record?

2. What did the actor do after the incident?

3. What proved difficult in programming robots?

4. What disease does Eagleman mention in support of his argument about free will?

5. Who obtained a record of the arresting incident?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Chapter 4 explore?

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

3. To what part of the body are newborns drawn and what does this imply about human beings' predisposition?

4. What happens when the frontal cortex is damaged?

5. Does Eagleman think genetics or upbringing has more to bear on one's actions and does he think it is an important question?

6. What does Eagleman say about free will?

7. What does Eagleman say about the abilities of a bloodhound?

8. How does Eagleman use an example of early robotics to illustrate how the mind may be divided?

9. How does a rat react to conflicting choices?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What we like is also determined largely by unconscious thinking and a natural tendency to like ourselves, Eagleman claims. This is called "implicit egotism," and is a well-established phenomenon, he explains. It is illustrated by the fact, for example, that people marry others with first names that start with the same letter more often than would be expected by chance. Eagleman claims this is because we implicitly prefer others that are like ourselves in some way.

1. Discuss how you feel about yourself and whether you think your feelings stem from your unconscious. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. Do you think most people like themselves? Why or why not. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. Do you think it is a positive trait that a person likes him/herself? Why or why not? 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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