Seeing Through Illusions

Seeing Through Illusions : Making Sense of the Senses

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Description

Visual illusions have the capacity to both puzzle and delight: whether the swirling colours and vibrations that appear from simple concentric patterns, or surreal tricks of perspective, or the ephemeral shapes that appear as we stare into a random scattering of dots. They remind us that, contrary to the experience of everyday life, what we perceive isn't always true. In Seeing Through Illusion renowned neuropsychologist Richard Gregory explores what visual illusions can tell us about how our brains perceive the world. Looking at optical tricks and many other extraordinary phenomena, Gregory explains how scientists use them to peel back the normal processes of perception, and to reveal how the brain performs the remarkable feat of representing the real world with the kind of richness and success which we experience every day and take for granted. And these visual illusions can not only tell us about how our brain works, but they can also reveal its past. For as our nervous systems evolved, so the ways in which they perceived the visual world grew more sophisticated, moving from simple stimuli of light and darkness to the complex levels of cognition we have today. Traces of earlier stages remain buried within our brains like stratified layers, laid down through evolutionary time, and we learn how the study of different kinds of illusions helps us to glimpse these layers. Interweaving science with reflections on art and philosophy, fascinating psychological case-studies, and some amazing visual phenomena, this book reveals that we really can 'see through illusions'.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 142 x 218 x 28mm | 480.81g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 60 B&W halftones, 4 pp colour plates
  • 0192802852
  • 9780192802859
  • 650,644

About Richard Gregory

Richard Gregory is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is editor of the Oxford Companion to the Mind (1987), and his other books include Mirrors in Mind (1997), Eye and Brain (5th edn., 1997), Even Odder Perceptions (1993), and Evolution of the Eye and Visual System (1992).show more

Table of contents

STARTERS ; 1. Phenomenal Science ; 2. Neuro-archaeology ; 3. First Light ; 4. Philosophy ; 5. Basic Theory ; 6. Kinds and Causes ; PHENOMENAL PHENOMENA ; 1. Blindness ; 2. Contrast ; 3. Instability ; 4. Confounded Ambiguity ; 5. Flipping Ambiguity ; 6. Distortion ; 7. Impossible ; 8. Fiction ; CONCEPTIONS ; CONSCIOUSNESSshow more

Review quote

A continuing delight in intriguing scientific phenomena is apparent throughout, communicated in lucid prose and enlivened by Gregory's customary wit...The book is a kaleidoscope of fascinating information. John M. Findlay, Times Literary Supplementshow more

Rating details

10 ratings
3.4 out of 5 stars
5 10% (1)
4 20% (2)
3 70% (7)
2 0% (0)
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