To the extent that consciousness is useful, it is useful in small quantities, and for very particular kinds of tasks. It's easy to understand why you would not want to be consciously aware of the intricacies of your muscle movement, but this can be less intuitive when applied to your perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, which are also final products of the activity of billions of nerve cells.

From the Blog

  • Discovering amulets inside the mummy
    Discovering amulets inside the mummy

    I recently posted about my scanning of a 3,000 year old mummy, Neskhons. Now, by analyzing the data in several different ranges of electron density, I've found something unexpected: inside the mummy's torso are 4 small funerary amulets.

  • Will Self
    Will Self

    The author Will Self and I appeared on stage together to discuss life, death, and what makes good writing.

  • Ten books I love
    Ten books I love

    I was recently asked to list ten books that have "inspired, moved, and enlightened" me. Here's my list:

  • CNN's Next List - video profile
    CNN's Next List - video profile

    I was recently named a CNN Next List Fellow. Watch two clips from the show.

Newsflashes

Emily Blunt reads for the Sum audio book

Hear the actress Emily Blunt (Young Victoria, Devil Wears Prada) read "The Cast" from Sum. She is one of the dozens of terrific actors who read for the audio book.

New Scientist time story

New Scientist magazine features David Eagleman's time perception research as their cover story.
Cover of 24 October 2009 issue of New Scientist magazine

New York Times bestseller

IncognitoA 26 week New York Times bestseller, Incognito was named a Best Book of the Year by both Amazon and Goodreads. For a taste of the book, see a review in the Wall Street Journal, listen to a conversation on NPR's Fresh Air, or watch a video dialog with Wired Magazine. Reading Incognito now? We'd love to hear feedback!

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