Incognito By David Eagleman

Neuroscientist and author David Eagleman breaks down brains chemistry and the subconscious mind.

RATING: 4.2/5



  • “If our brains were simple enough to be understood, we wouldn’t be smart enough to understand them.”
  • A typical neuron makes about 10,000 connections to neighboring neurons. Given the billions of neurons, this means there are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. 
  • “In each of us there is another whom we do not know.” -Carl Jung 
  • 1/3 of the human brain is devoted to vision.
  • You’re not perceiving what’s out there. You’re perceiving whatever your brain tells you.
  • Schizophrenics can’t tickle themselves because of a problem with their timing that does not allow their motor actions and resulting sensations to be correctly sequenced.
  • The first lesson about trusting your senses is: don’t. Just because you believe something to be true, just because you know it’s true, that doesn’t mean it is true. The most important maxim for fighter pilots is “Trust your instruments.” This is because your senses will tell you the most inglorious lies, and if you trust them—instead of your cockpit dials—you’ll crash. 
  • “Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.” -Blaise Pascal
  • When something bad happens, the brain leverages the entire body (heart rate, contraction of the gut, weakness of the muscles, and so on) to register that feeling, and that feeling becomes associated with the event. When the event is next pondered, the brain essentially runs a simulation, reliving the physical feelings of the event. 
  • We are preprogrammed to lose interest in a sexual partner after the time required to raise a child has passed—which is, on average, about four years. Divorce peaks at about four years into marriage, consistent with this hypothesis. 
  • If it feels bad, it is probably wrong.
  • “Thousands and, perhaps, millions of little processes must be involved in how we anticipate, imagine, plan, predict, and prevent—and yet all this proceeds so automatically that we regarded it as “ordinary common sense.” … At first it may seem incredible that our minds could use such intricate machinery and yet be unaware of it“ -Marvin Minsky
  • The main thing known about secrets is that keeping them is unhealthy for the brain. The act of not discussing or confiding the event with another may be more damaging than having experience event per se. 
  • “There is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and others.” -Michel De Montaigne 
  • 57% of frontotemporal dementia patients display socially violating behavior that sets them up for trouble with the law, as compared to only 7% of Alzheimer’s patients.
  • If you are a carrier of a particular set of genes, your probability of committing a violent crime goes up by 882%. The overwhelming majority of prisoners carry these genes, as do 98.4% of those on death row. 


3 thoughts on “Incognito By David Eagleman

  1. love these weekly postings! You are absolutely killer. Bullets #7, #9, and #13 are the ones that stuck out to me overall. You inspire me to read more, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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