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Eye and Brain Paperback – December 15, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0691048376 ISBN-10: 0691048371 Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Science Library
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 5th edition (December 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691048371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691048376
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


An excellent introduction to the psychology of vision. It presents what we know, what we don't know, and what we think. Gregory accomplishes this in an astonishingly succinct and successful book. -- Review

About the Author

Richard Gregory is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology and former Director of the Brain and Perception Laboratory at the University of Bristol. He has carried out experiments on many aspects of perception described in this book and is the inventor of several optical instruments. He is also an FRS and an international personality in the media and public lecture circuit. He is a prolific author as well as an eminent scientist. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Great read, awesome illustrative diagrams!
In this part of the book, Gregory identifies special cells in the brain associated with orientation of objects and movement of objects.
Hitesh B. Patel
I like the book because so much is covered about how we see and how the brain is a part of what we think we are seeing.
George S. Pearl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Mike Christie on May 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Who would have thought that a book about the mechanics, physiology and psychology of seeing could be such a riveting read? This is one of the best popular science books around, and I don't even think Gregory intended it to be a layman's book--it's just so well written and interesting that it will delight lay readers as well as its intended student audience.
Gregory starts with a short chapter intended to outline some of the less-obvious issues in understanding how we see. Here, as well as throughout the book, he uses optical illusions to make points. The next chapters cover light itself, and the structure and function of the eye and brain, including accounts of how the eye evolved. The rest of the book discusses brightness, colour, and questions such as "How do we visually determine size?" and "Can machines be taught to see?"
The book is full of accounts of intriguing experiments and case-studies. Two examples of many: Gregory and a colleague, Jean Wallace, worked in 1961-1962 with a man of 52 whose sight was restored to him after a life of blindness. The account of his slow and incomplete adaptation to the world of sight, and his ultimate slide into depression and death (he had been active and capable as a blind person) is fascinating and moving. Another example: Gregory discusses various researchers who spent some time wearing vision apparatus that dramatically changed their perceptions, such as Stratton, Ewert and the Paterson's. In these cases--where for example the wearer could see their own body suspended in front of them, or see everything upside down--the details of the adaptations of perception are thought-provoking and still not completely understood.
Strongly recommended.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the classic introduction to perception and psychophysics, and remains as readable and entertaining as it was 30 years ago when I read the first edition. Gregory's was one of the few books on the subject accessible to the non-specialist that tackled some of the more difficult topics, such as how the physiology and anatomy of the eye contributes to perception, as in the case of physiological optics, retinal receptive field geometry, ocular domimance and saccadic eye movements, as well as other traditional areas such as color perception, space perception, and so on. There are also very engrossing discussions of split-brain experiments and optical illusions, probably the most fun part of the book for most people, which are worth reading just for themselves. Overall this is still a great book and one that everyone should read to gain better understanding of how their own visual systems and brains work to enable us to see and perceive the many simple and complex aspects of the visual world. After reading this book you'll have much of the background to read David Marr's later book, entitled simply Vision. This important work contains discussions of more complex visual cortical brain mechanisms and of Marr's important work in that area. Marr discusses his important concept of the "primal sketch" for extracting line primitives, which relates to retinal receptive-field geometry, and then works up from there to more sophisticated spatial-frequency filtering algorithms and mechanisms--ideas that revolutionized our understanding of vision and the brain.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hitesh B. Patel on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book does an excellent job of explaining the details of vision through various illustrations and examples. I highly recommend this book to people that have a curiosity about vision and why some things seem the way they do in terms of sight and perception. The book is written in more of a textbook format in which it defines many concepts prior to using the terms in the book; this also makes it an easier read for people not familiar with terms both related and associated to the eye and brain. I liked the structure of the book in which the future chapters of the book build upon the concepts and terms introduced in previous chapters. Gregory not only mentions many novel ideas, but he also explains how and who discovered these novel ideas. I thought the book was both entertaining and at the same time informative.
Gregory starts off the book by providing illustrations and examples of images in which the mind perceives a familiar object. One such illustration he uses to portray this is a picture filled with black blobs of ink randomly placed around the page except for a certain area (p.12). Even though there is not much of an outline of a Dalmatian dog, the mind makes a guess based on previous information and data it has collected from past experiences that this may be a dog. I thought this was a clever method that Gregory used to capture the reader and helped raise various questions about the process of forming hypotheses within the brain about the outside world.
After capturing the reader's attention, Gregory delves into the details of color and how the eye detects light and different colors via cones and rods. He explains in detail the experiments conducted by Sir Isaac Newton to discover the color spectrum.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a real thrill to also discover a lot about how our brain functions and about why we see optical illusions
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