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. How old was Charles Whitman when he died?

2. What does Chapter 4 explore?

3. What is an animal's ability to choose a course from among competing options and act accordingly?

4. What was one routine in charge of?

5. What can insects do that human beings cannot do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does a rat react to conflicting choices?

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

5. How does Eagleman interpret the incident?

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

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

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

9. What happens when the frontal cortex is damaged?

10. What does Eagleman say about free will?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There are ways to measure how our unconscious minds affect our conscious thinking even without our knowing it, Eagleman explains. For example, a person may consciously profess to have no prejudicial feelings about people of a certain race, but experiments that ask them to associate certain words such as "like" or "dislike" with photographs or words describing different races or creeds can reveal that they may move slightly toward the "dislike" option before choosing "like". This reveals a conflict between the unconscious and unconscious minds, Eagleman claims.

1. Do you think you could have unconscious feelings, such as prejudice, of which you are unaware? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

2. Discuss what conflicts might rise between the unconscious and conscious mind when you decide not to study for a test. Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

3. Do you think the unconscious mind always makes the best decisions over the conscious mind? Why or why not? Use examples from your own life and Incognito to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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.

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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