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The Brain: The Story of You

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  13,775 ratings  ·  1,360 reviews
Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to chang ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Pantheon
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Lindsay This is a very subjective question. Meaning it always depends on who you're asking. Because none of this has yet to be "proven" people will argue for …moreThis is a very subjective question. Meaning it always depends on who you're asking. Because none of this has yet to be "proven" people will argue for whoever's research and theories they agree with. I can give you some of my own personal (and I try really hard to be objective and steer clear of opinions, but that will always have a role so that's just my warning label of sorts, ha) but because this is such a big topic today it'd help if you were more specific... do you mean subconscious mind just basically like how we make decisions, fears, etc or do you want to go deeper meaning the abnormal subconscious mind and/or subconscious mind of trauma, etc. there are so many good out there. If you want recs let me know, but another good way to find is to do a bit of research online and/or going to a book store and looking at several books that deal with your specific questions... I hope this helps!(less)

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Amir Tesla
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
This book takes you to limbo. The materials, hypotheses and theories provided leaves you wondering and wondering.

Could you imagine hearing through your tongue or seeing with your ears? This sentence wasn't a hypothesis or theory, it was fact being already performed on real humans.

Now could you imagine capturing the map of your brain, transferring it to other body or even a computer. Namely, do you think your conscious mind could ever exist on a computer? Well it's true in theory and is being a
Britta Böhler
For those who read books about the brain, Eagleman's book might be a bit too 'basic', only scratching the surface of neuroscience. But if you are looking for a well written & accessible introduction into 'the workings of the brain', this is definitely a great book to start with. ...more
Nandakishore Mridula
Writing a popular science book (I won't use the abhorrent term "pop science") is a dicey affair. If it becomes too scientific, it is not likely to be popular; but if it dumbs the science down too much, it tends not to be taken seriously by discerning readers. So the writer of such a tome has a tough time, striking exactly the right note - that is why very few people succeed in this field. David Eagleman is one such, and this book is gem.

Having read Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by the aut
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great introductory read with simple explanations for general readers. But for further readings, we could check the notes section. Highly recommended for introduction purpose, make it 5 star for this purpose.

This book made me want to read other books related to brain or neuro science.
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
As a preface I have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and study how the brain works as my job. Seeing positive reviews I thought this would be an interest book to read. After starting this book the first thing I have to say is, "wow." Not as in "wow that booked blew me away" but more "wow, I guess once you have media connections you can publish any piece of trash."

I understand the need to write a book for a lay audience, I really do. The unfortunate part is that much of what Eagleman presents in
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't learn a single new thing about the brain in this book -- but that's not a criticism.

It simply means I've been reading a lot of brain books in recent years (and writing articles about the research), so I was eager to see how one of my favorite neuroscientists, David Eagleman, did on this companion book to his PBS series.

He did quite well, thank you. He covered gracefully and without numbing detail the waterfront of much recent research -- how the brain consists of competing networks, how
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an excellent book of interest to everyone who has a brain.

Pop science in perfection - making science accessible for everyone in an engaging way, without requiring background knowledge. David Eagleman is a world wide renowned neuroscientist and he did a great job with finding the right words for a world audience.

Who are we, what do we experience as real, how do we make decisions and why does or brain need social contacts? Those are key questions I think everyone should think and learn ab
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
Good introduction to the brain for people with no knowledge of science or neuroscience. I was hoping for something a little more in depth.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: neuroscience
The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman

“The Brain" is an excellent companion piece to the six-part PBS series of the same title. Neuroscientist and best-selling author David Eagleman, educates and fascinates the general public with a wonderful popular-science examination of our brains. This captivating 224-page book includes the following six chapters: 1. Who am I?, 2. What is reality?, 3. Who’s in control?,4. How do I decide?, 5. Do I need you?, and 6. Who will we be?.

1. Popular
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
The cover of this book is beautiful - and the pages are that thick, heavy sort that just scream quality. Yet what was written on them I found to be a little lacking. Eagleman clearly has a lot of passion for neurobiology and psychology, and references quite a few of his own experiments and what he learned from it. The passages on artificial intelligence were interesting and thought provoking, and the parts on empathy and the need for social interaction were not bad either. It touched quite a sur ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The strange computational material in our skulls is the perceptual machinery by which we navigate the world, the stuff from which decisions arise, the material from which imagination is forged. Our dreams and our waking lives emerge from its billions of zapping cells"

A fun, entertaining and enlightening book, in which, David Eagleman introduces us to the fast growing brain science, exploring some of the brain wonders and sometimes it seems even like science fiction what that mysterious jelly ma
Took me forever to finish (why???) but was very interesting. Didn't like the part about us potentially becoming machines in the future, with our brains downloaded to a computer... The author got really excited about the possibilities but I just couldn't. Also would have liked more insights into what we understand a lit brain processes instead of future potential with computers, processing power, etc. ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
If you haven’t read anything else about the human brain and how it works, you’ll probably find this interesting. It covers the usual points: a lot of interesting stuff about the way our brains work and the way they perceive the world. And it’s definitely presented in a readable, easy to understand fashion; I think it’d definitely be suitable for a layperson.

For me, however, it got boring pretty fast because I know this stuff. It’s hardly even revision for me – this is stuff I just know. I had th
Varun Nair
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to the wonders of the human brain and the fundamental unanswered questions about how consciousness magically emerges from the 'interaction' of trillions of neurons. Humans have certainly come a long way in unraveling the mysteries of the brain, some of which have helped people regain motor & cognitive functions, and key senses like hearing & eyesight. But there is a still a long way to go.. The book talks about interesting neuroscience research across the world that is ...more
Aurélien Thomas
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain
Here's a clear and very accessible tour of the brain. What makes it interesting is the angle taken by the author -showing all along that the human brain 'constructs' reality around us, so we can navigate our surrounding world.

First, comparing our biological receptors (our senses and how they work) to that of other animals leads him to expand on a striking idea which I personally find fascinating: so-called sensory substitution. Indeed, our brain doesn't care about which sensory pathway data are
Essam Munir
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: neuroscience
I consider this book as an introduction to the field of neuroscience, or something to be taught in schools. I wish I could have read this book some years ago when I started reading about the brain, as it would be the best introduction.
The narrative, as always, is interesting and warm and listening to this book narrated by Eagleman himself made it a better experience.
If you're looking for something new, then this book is not for you. But if you want to refresh your knowledge about the brain, then
Keshav Bhatt
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book helped me appreciate the neuroscience behind how much of our mindset, perspective and identity is simply a matter of neural wiring. Who we are is a result of where we have been, and the story we create of ourselves based on our previous experiences. And it is exactly that. A story. Too often we do not see what is really happening, but a projection tainted by old ideas and memories. We see things as we are, not as they actually are. I knew this truth to self evident already but through ...more
Pritam Chattopadhyay
Aug 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Book: The Brain: The Story of You
Author: David Eagleman
Publisher: ‎ Random House; Main edition (19 September 2016)
Language: ‎ English
Paperback: ‎ 304 pages
Item Weight: ‎ 190 g
Dimensions: ‎ 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
Price: 378/-

“Brain science matters. The strange computational material in our skulls is the perceptual machinery by which we navigate the world, the stuff from which decisions arise, the material from which imagination is forged. Our dreams and our waking lives emerge from its billions of
Riju Ganguly
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like the very best non-fiction books, this book succeeds in delivering an executive summary of the stuff that the brain performs for us. The strong points in favour of this book are:
- It’s eminently readable, with lucid language showing a hint of humour and the right amount of awe.
- The subjects it deal with are apparently common but exceedingly complex, like memory and coordination. Nevertheless, with empathy for humble readers like us, the book manages to avoid most technicalities, speeding us
Gökhan Şans
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beatifully writing.
Çok güzel.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a splendid introduction to neuroscience. Although I was disappointed that Eagleman did not go further and include much deeper knowledge about his field, everything was quite superficial, it is still amazingly mind-blowing.
Neuroscience has always been enthralling to me, and this book was just the subtle push on the door that unraveled a portal of awe in me, I am drastically impressed with our brains.
This book is perfect for all kinds of readers, Eagleman did a fantastic job with the
Stijn Zanders
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-2019
The brain is one of the most complex systems known to man and David Eagleman wants to give his readers a summary of cutting-edge neuroscience research. Because of this complexity, the book is very shallow and only briefly touches the different subjects. It raises a lot of questions and perhaps I will read more books related to the magic of our brains, though those books should go deeper into specific areas.

A big positive of the book is that its subject matter is very much intertwined with other
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Read for my physiological psychology class, not going to review.
Thea Hartman
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As a non-scientist with a deeply literary perspective I have had my mind repeatedly blown by the revelations in this book, effect undoubtedly achieved due to David Eagleman’s ability to guide the reader through a variety of experiments that flow beautifully into discoveries.

I recommend the audiobook read by Eagleman himself, which genuinely adds to the journey; it’s like listening to a podcast of ‘crazy facts’ which unfold like murder mysteries — the difference is that it’s about the actual bra
Laura Sach
Apr 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Not the most fascinating of reads. Lacked some scientific depth. But a good start for someone who wants to learn about the brain and dip their toe into some scientific non-fiction
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering where we are, and what we know so far, it is a safe bet to say that the key to understanding the origins of life and consciousness, and the nature of reality lie in understanding the brain.

That is why despite the fact that it doesn’t contain details of the types and roles of neurons and their connections, functional neuronal networks, mapping of consciousness and other abstract concepts such as anxiety or love to specific brain regions, etc., and that it forays quite quickly into the
Madawi Ismail
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
For everyone interested in science and human biology , psychology and beyond , this could be a fantastic and insightful experience. For me and all of those who are always fascinated by human brain and the complexity of its function and the meaning of us as an individual in relation to this , no matter how much you know as facts you will find this thought provoking and very enjoyable read
I loved it
Romans Karpelcevs
This is one of those 3 star ratings when I liked the book, I really did, but somehow it's still not even a 4-star material.
Overall, a fascinating read, but many researches listed are in so many books they're not as fascinating any more. Some of the interpretations were too speculative, some weren't entirely interesting. I didn't feel like I needed to rewind the audio when I missed a few sentences because of a distraction. I don't feel like this is something you recommend to anyone you know.
Nick Davies
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Clearly a tie-in to a TV series I didn't actually see, this was an interesting whistle-stop tour of various aspects of neuroscience and psychology, packed to bursting points with illustrative examples. The general level at which it was pitched was OK for me - I would've appreciated a little more scientific depth in places, but keeping it relatively approachable for the non-scientist made for a quick and quirky read. Though there were several parts which I'd read about in greater depth before (as ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Ha! My Science Book Club picked this (mostly because I suggested it and they're too lazy to come up with other ideas!) Maybe telling the gang that this book was short got it picked. And it IS short. Just over 200 pages of large print on small pages. But what an interesting 200 pages it was! Filled with anecdotes that illustrate the points the author was making, I learned so many cool things about the brain as I zipped through this book in three days (that's fast for me). It's told in a breezy, p ...more
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David Eagleman is an internationally bestselling author, a TED speaker, and a Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches neuroscience at Stanford University and is CEO of a neurotech startup, Neosensory. At night he writes. His books have been translated into 33 languages.

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