In his new book The Hidden Brain, science writer Shankar Vedantam explains his perspective on what he describes as our brains two modes: conscious and unconscious, pilot and autopilot. Are you constantly switching back and forth between the two?
“Most of us think of ourselves as being conscious, intentional, deliberate creatures,” Vedantam says. “I know that I think of myself that way: I know why I like this movie star, or why I voted for this president, or why I prefer this political party to that….Doing research for this book changed all that.“
“I have become, in some ways, much more humble about my views and much less certain about myself. And it may well be that the hidden brain is much more in charge of what we do than our conscious mind’s intentions.”
Listen to Shankar talk about The Hidden Brain concept on NPR.