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. Which actor does Eagleman discuss at the opening of this chapter?

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

3. What does Eagleman think some people would have said about Whitman had he lived?

4. How does Eagleton support his statement about what is or is not hard wired into our brains?

5. How old was Charles Whitman when he died?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Eagleman compare the conscious mind to our senses?

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

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

5. How does a rat react to conflicting choices?

6. How does Eagleman interpret the incident?

7. What does Chapter 4 explore?

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

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

10. What happens when the frontal cortex is damaged?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

This assembly of competing routines is what makes up most of the activity of our brains, and our conscious mind, as is demonstrated in brains where these competing processes have been interrupted or disconnected, is mostly at the mercy of our unconscious processes. Eagleman presents the results of experiments that suggest that our conscious mind will even fabricate reasons for our actions after the fact when we cannot tell what our true motivations are.

1. There is a saying that we do not really look at pros and cons for a decision but instead make the decision unconsciously and then justify our decision with pros and cons. Discuss this idea bringing in the examples Eagleman gives.

2. Do you think most of the time a person does not know his or her true motivations for behavior? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your reasoning.

3. Discuss an incident in your life where after it happen you could not understand why you said or did what you said or did. How does that incident relate to Eagleman's assertion about unconscious control of people's lives? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your reasoning.

Essay Topic 2

Eagleman gives the reader an overview of his ideas about success in Incognito. Discuss one of the following:

1. Discuss Eagleman's opinions of three topics he discussed in relation to the brain. Do you agree or disagree with him? Why? Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

2. Compare and contrast Eagleman's opinions from Incognito with what you might imagine Eagleman's opinion might be had he lived 100 years ago. How do you think his opinions would change? Would they remain the same? Explain fully. Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

3. Discuss how you think Eagleman's view on several topics from this essay informs his life as a researcher. Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 3

There are a number of interesting questions raised by Incognito. Questions that Eagleman most likely want readers to consider and think through carefully. Discuss the following:

1. What does the term "author agenda" mean?

2. Name one idea/concept you think may have been a part of the Eagleman's agenda. Analyze that idea throughout the book and discuss Wilson's probable agenda concerning that idea.

2. Do you think writers who have an agenda for writing should point it out in a preface?

3. How often do you think fiction is written with a clear agenda in mind by the author?

4. Research the life of Eagleman and see if/where his life may have influenced his writing.

(see the answer keys)

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