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Synesthesia: Perspectives from Cognitive Neuroscience 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195166231
ISBN-10: 019516623X
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"There is a good basis here for starting to understand this extraordinary phenomenon, but also a great store of unanswered questions waiting to be explored."--Physiology News


"Red and blue do equal yellow for some and in Synesthesia it's proven true." --Lancet


"Overall, this work provides a broad cross-section of interest for synaesthesia researchers, and does so in a readable and comprehensive way...I recommend this book to researchers and students, in philosophy, psychology, or neuroscience, and it is a must-read for those wishing to get aquainted with the unusual and fascinating phenomenon."--Perception


About the Author


Lynn Robertson has been studying abnormal perception and attention for over 20 years. Her early experiments in visual spatial deficits and hemispheric asymmetries are now classic, and she was one of the first wave of experimentally trained psychologists to integrate cognitive psychology with human neuropsychology, creating the field that has become known as cognitive neuroscience. Her recent work incorporates the study of unusual developmental visual phenomena, such as those found in synesthesia.
Noam Sagiv received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in cognitive psychology after studying physics, chemistry, and neurobiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is now a research fellow at University College London. He studies visual perception in normal subjects, neurological patients and special populations using behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging methods. He is particularly interested in positive phenomena such as synesthesia, metamorphopsia, and hallucinations.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019516623X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195166231
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,666,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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If you are looking for a general overview of the concept of synesthesia, I would not recommend this book. This book is instead for the serious student or professional who is interested in the field of synesthesia and what research is being done to define and document it. The book primarily consists of highly detailed descriptions the various experiments done on synesthetes (people who experience synesthesia) and the outcomes of those experiments.

Further, the book almost entirely dicsusses grapheme-color synesthesia, or synesthesia experienced by associating numbers and letters with specific colors. Other forms of synesthesia are mentioned, but all of the experiments appear to be related to the above-mentioned version of the experience. Finally, the book is appropriately deadpan, offering only that this and that experiment suggests this and that. There is no emphasis whatsoever on spiritual issues or anything "New Age."

The book is well-organized and articulate, but highly technical while being only mildly conceptual. Most of the experiments mentioned define what synesthesia is *not* rather than what it is. Its most important contribution is the emphasis on describing the machines used to do experiments as well as the non-mechanical experiments (having synesthetes read combinations of numbers on black-and-white or color surfaces, for example) used to define the condition.

The fact that the book does not ultimately define the properties of synesthesia is perfectly understandable considering the limitations of how we can study it at this time. The explanations of how the human brain and mind are defined by scientists are concise and certainly useful for both scientists and philosophers as well as more technically-minded artists. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the study of human perception.
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