• by David Eagleman
  • Narrated by David Eagleman
  • 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you're consciously aware of danger? Why do you notice when your name is mentioned in a conversation that you didn't think you were listening to? Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? Renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate these surprising mysteries. Taking in brain damage, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synaesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence and visual illusions.


What the Critics Say

“Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness.” (The New Yorker)
“A fun read by a smart person for smart people…it will attract a new generation to ponder their inner workings.” (New Scientist)
“Your mind is an elaborate trick, and mastermind David Eagleman explains how the trick works with great lucidity and amazement. Your mind will thank you.” (Kevin Kelly, Wired Magazine)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


fascinating insight into the human mind/spirit. I can not recommend this enough: it's intriguing, thrilling and informative... brilliant.

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- Marc

Engaging but not ground breaking

Eagleman reads his own text in an appealing way and takes the listener through much of the same territory that can be listened to in Bruce Hood's 'The Self Illusion' or Timothy D. Wilson's 'Strangers to Ourselves' -- e.g. what experiments on split brain patients reveal about confabulation, blindsight (being able to use the mid-brain to see even when you can no longer consciously process what you see), the accident that sent an iron rod through the prefrontal cortex of Phineas Gage and changed his personality. Eagleman's particular interest is in the consequences which a more brain-savvy and up-to-date account of human identity has for the idea of legal responsibility. Bruce Hood gives you a bit more science, without being difficult to listen to (for even more science you could try David Linden's excellent 'The Accidental Mind'). Timothy Wilson is interesting because his account of processes below the level of consciousness (what he calls the adaptive unconscious) engages explicitly with the psychoanalytic tradition. Eagleman is a good starting point: a thought provoking and accessible text that will probably lead you to want to listen to more such books.
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- Dr

Book Details

  • Release Date: 26-04-2012
  • Publisher: Canongate Books