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. Who is Charles Whitman?

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

3. What problem does Eagleman describe in illustrating how the mind may be divided?

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

5. What does Eagleman say we cannot choose?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Who is Charles Whitman and what did he do and what may have contributed to his actions?

5. What happens when the frontal cortex is damaged?

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. How does a rat react to conflicting choices?

8. What does Eagleman say is hard wired into our brains?

9. What incident does Eagleman discuss concerning Mel Gibson?

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Wilson has cited a number of people in this book. Discuss he following:

1. Choose three people whom Eagleman mentions positively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

2. Choose three people whom Eagleman mentions negatively and give a brief idea of his opinions about those three people (or stereotypes). Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

3. Judging what Eagleman says about different people in his text, how would you characterize him as a friend? As a colleague? Use examples from Incognito to support your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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