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 creature does Eagleman use as an example of one with an excellent sense of smell?

2. What was discovered about Alex's health?

3. What does Eagleman say is difficult?

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

5. From what does Eagleman say our ultimate behavior springs?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Chapter 4 explore?

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

3. What does Eagleman have readers consider about Whitman?

4. What does Eagleman say about a man named Alex?

5. What does Eagleman say about free will?

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. What comparison of thought to wavelengths does Eagleman make?

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

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

10. How does Eagleman see many of the small sub-routines of the mind and what example does he give?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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