The Mind's Eye

The Mind's Eye

Book - 2011
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7

With compassion and insight, Dr. Oliver Sacks again illuminates the mysteries of the brain by introducing us to some remarkable characters, including Pat, who remains a vivacious communicator despite the stroke that deprives her of speech, and Howard, a novelist who loses the ability to read. Sacks investigates those who can see perfectly well but are unable to recognize faces, even those of their own children. He describes totally blind people who navigate by touch and smell; and others who, ironically, become hyper-visual. Finally, he recounts his own battle with an eye tumor and the strange visual symptoms it caused. As he has done in classics like The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and Awakenings , Dr. Sacks shows us that medicine is both an art and a science, and that our ability to imagine what it is to see with another person's mind is what makes us truly human.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2011.
Edition: First Vintage Books edition.
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9780307473028
0307473023
Branch Call Number: 616.855 SA14B
Characteristics: xii, 263 pages : illustrations ; 20 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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