From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Neuroscientist Eagleman wants us to take a look inside our own heads. We know there's a brain there, and we know some things about what it does, but there's a lot of unexplored territory, too. We know we think and imagine, but how do we do these things? Why will we perceive things photographs, say, or events one way under a certain set of circumstances but a different way in different circumstances? What is the unconscious mind, and how does it work? You might as well know up front that there aren't any concrete answers here; this is one of those books where the exploration is the adventure and the journey its own reward. Written in clear, precise language (even when the author is tackling some seriously complicated stuff), the book is sure to appeal to readers with an interest in psychology and the human mind, but it will also please people who just want to know, with a little more clarity, what is going on inside their own skulls.--Pitt, Davi. Copyright 2010 Booklist
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Fascinating things are going on in neuroscience, and the educated public knows that. Writing a book about the brain that nonspecialists can understand (without taking a course in neuroscience) is difficult. With this book, Eagleman (neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine) joins Oliver Sacks, V. S. Ramachandran, and Antonio Damasio in the small circle of people who have done just that. Eagleman's main theme is that what one calls "me," the conscious mind, is only the tip of the iceberg, and that most of the interesting and important things the brain does are inaccessible to the brain's "owner." This is not a novel idea, as it is something every cognitive scientist knows. What Eagleman does is explain the idea to the neophyte through discussion of dozens of fascinating, engaging examples. In so doing, he brings the unconscious mind to light much as Oliver Sacks has illuminated clinical neurology in his books. Eagleman's prose is vivid and, more important, accessible. No wonder the book has found a place on the best-seller list of The New York Times. The book will be an engaging resource for non-majors, and professors might improve their craft by taking up some of Eagleman's examples. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-and upper-division undergraduates; general readers. S. W. Horst Wesleyan University