x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Incognito: 'The hottest thing in neuroscience'

David Eagleman keeps the readers without medical degrees in mind in this pop science tome.

David Eagleman
Incognito David Eagleman Canongate Dh34

“The hottest thing in neuroscience” seems an unlikely label to hook the majority of readers into the wonders of the human brain without that same audience being concerned that such complex discussions might induce a migraine. But, to the renowned neuroscientist and author David Eagleman’s eternal credit, this is a book written with the unscientific reader in mind.

As far as writing goes, Incognito’s accessibility is also proof that there can be too much of a good thing. Most of Eagleman’s discussions on synapses and neurons in the first few chapters will ring an all too familiar bell with those who actually paid attention during science classes or kept up to date with the latest happenings in the field. But, the author’s earnest pleas to be astonished at this presentation of recycled information tends to grate after a while.

What does save Incognito from redundancy, however, is the illustration of brain activity through the many and varied case studies relating to subjects, such as patients who are inhibited by loss of neurological functions, and the controversial nature verses nurture debate. As far as pop science books go, this one is worth a passing glance at least.