Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

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Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Incognito TheSecretLivesOfTheBrain BookByDavidEagleman.jpg
Cover of the book Incognito by David Eagleman
AuthorDavid Eagleman
Published31 May 2011, Pantheon (US), Canongate (UK)
Media typeHardcover, Paperback, Audio book, E-Book

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain is a New York Times bestselling[1] non-fiction book by American neuroscientist David Eagleman,[2] an adjunct professor at Stanford University.[3] The book explores the juxtaposition of the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, with Eagleman summing up the text's themes with the question: "If the conscious mind - the part you consider to be you - is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing?"[4]

In Incognito, Eagleman contends that most of the operations of the brain are inaccessible to awareness, such that the conscious mind "is like a stowaway on a transatlantic steam ship, taking credit for the journey without acknowledging the massive engineering underfoot."

Incognito appeared on the New York Times bestsellers list intermittently in 2011 and 2012. It was named a Best Book of 2011 by Amazon,[5] the Boston Globe,[6] and the Houston Chronicle.[7]

The book was reviewed as "appealing and persuasive" by the Wall Street Journal[8] and "a shining example of lucid and easy-to-grasp science writing" by The Independent.[9] A starred review from Kirkus described it as "a book that will leave you looking at yourself - and the world - differently."[10]

In July 2011, Eagleman discussed Incognito with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report.[11]


  1. ^ Inside the NYT Bestseller's List, New York Times Sunday Book Review, June 10, 2011
  2. ^ David Eagleman and the Mysteries of the Brain, The New Yorker, Apr 25, 2011.
  3. ^ Eagleman homepage at Stanford
  4. ^ see Incognito's mini-website (under Eagleman's official website)
  5. ^ Best Science Books of 2011
  6. ^ Boston Globe: Best Books of the Year 2011
  7. ^ Bookish: Best Books of 2011
  8. ^ The Stranger Within, Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2011
  9. ^ Incognito review, The Independent, Apr 17, 2011
  10. ^ Kirkus Reviews - Incognito, Apr 15, 2011.
  11. ^ Colbert Report: David Eagleman, Aired July 21, 2011.

External links[edit]