The Mind's Eye

The Mind's Eye

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
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From the author of the #1 national bestselling Musicophilia comes a truly visionary book: an exploration of the remarkable, unpredictable ways that our brains cope with the loss of sight by finding new forms of perception to create worlds as complete and rich as the no-longer-visible world.

Following the phenomenal success of his international bestseller Musicophilia , the inimitable Oliver Sacks returns with another book on the extraordinary interaction between our brain and our senses -- in this case, vision. In The Mind's Eye , Sacks examines questions ranging from the primary experiences of how we perceive depth or color or motion to the complex matter of how different individuals have varied ways of thinking and experiencing or recreating the visual world. Like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars , Sacks's new book is based primarily on individual stories -- including Sacks's own experience of an ocular tumor that left him unable to perceive depth. As always, he embeds these case histories in a rich historical and scientific context. Sacks goes beyond basic vision to explore perception, hallucination and the power of visualization, as well as the ocular effects of migraine, epilepsy and other conditions. Oliver Sacks is our perfect guide to the visual world, a realm that, it turns out, is much, much more complicated than we could have imagined.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307398093
Branch Call Number: 152.14 SAC 2010
Characteristics: xii, 263 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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DBRL_IdaF Feb 17, 2018

Many fascinating anecdotes and insights on the workings of the brain, especially in terms of visual processing. Did you know it's possible to lose your ability to read without losing your ability to write? I'm intrigued by any kind of brain research. I did feel Sacks could have sufficed with one or two anecdotes to illustrate a point, rather than going on and on with several more in some cases. Yet, the book isn't all that long.

c
callig
Nov 30, 2017

In a way it's a bit silly to review a Sacks title- everybody remotely interested in psychology knows Sacks, and non-psychology buffs aren't interested.
Sacks is a known- you like well-written engaging psychology popularization with human interest, or you don't.
This title extends the formula into the subject of human vision. Like any complex system, its failures are complex, and often grotesque. That sustains interest even when one isn't actually learning much (one blind person has a completely different interior world/visualization than another... so...what?).
And as another reviewer noticed, his discussion of his own vision was a bit more overdone.
But these are quibbles- it's excellent, and the bibliography and discussion of a few famous titles alone make it worth at least browsing through. Touching the Rock is one classic i was glad to be reminded of.
Now that he's "gone ahead", as the Irish say, we've lost a great educator. (And Temple Grandin has lost her entire PR department!)

b
bucklaw
Feb 21, 2017

Loved most of it towards the end it gets as someone else said it a little bit bogged down with his own loss of sight. Still a more than interesting read regarding vision and the amazing predicaments that can go wrong with one's brain.

t
tonyjoan
Oct 27, 2015

Oliver Sacks the intellectual teacher died Sept . end the same day as evil horror film maker , and Wayne Dyer

I really enjoyed this book, in its entirety. I also appreciated the footnotes and references, that point the interested reader to excellent sources of further information. Dr. Sacks is a great storyteller. He has a great understanding both of the people and the science he writes about.

2
21221012271000
Mar 08, 2011

Oliver Sacks, M.D. narrates the real life stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing one or more senses and abilities, such as, the power of speech, recognition of faces, the sense of 3-D space, the ability to read, and the sense of sight.

Dr. Sacks has lost vision to one side due to cancer; and yet is able to manage hos own affairs.

b
BigOrange
Jan 02, 2011

First half was great with case studies vividly depicted but the second half where he discusses his own experience with ocular melanoma was bogged down in way too much detail and lost all momentum. Although intensely interesting to Dr Sacks, it needed a good editor to filter out the extraneous information for the reader. Great insight into the man, however.

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