- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (March 25, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312306571
- ISBN-13: 978-0312306571
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Opening the Mind's Eye: How Images and Language Teach Us How To See Hardcover – March 25, 2003
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Following up on his debut, Mind Sculpture, Trinity College psychology professor Robertson argues that most of us have been taught to think about the world through the limiting confines of the "cool web of language," as poet Robert Graves called it. Touching on a variety of topics, including hypnosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, synesthesia, addiction and chronic worrying, Robertson encourages readers to develop their visual acuity, to "picture" concepts and ideas as images, rather than simply articulating them through words. To this end, Robertson gives readers a variety of simple, imagery-based exercises designed to stimulate creativity, improve memory and generally relax the mind. He even cites studies demonstrating that children experiencing chronic migraines can use their ability to envision "pleasant" images--such as a koala bear-- to ease their suffering. But, Robertson warns, "the blessing of powerful mental imagery can turn to a curse when it comes to reliving trauma," as is made evident in his discussion of Vietnam vets haunted by all-too-realistic images of death, or Three Mile Island residents whose recurring visions of nuclear disaster made them vulnerable, decades later, to chronic stress and physical debilitation. More mundanely, the perils of imagination can be seen in the intense fear many people feel when they merely picture themselves going to the dentist. Some of Robertson's enticing yet unsubstantiated claims (e.g., "Worry is primarily a language-based mental activity, where imagery is kept to a minimum") may frustrate readers otherwise eager to use his techniques.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A British psychologist, Robertson has a variety of goals in mind here--sharpening memory, increasing athletic performance, taming anxiety and phobias--as he describes cognitive experiments that have elucidated how the brain absorbs sound, sight, and touch. Many of the tests he describes have been performed on the usual pool of subjects and university students, and others on small children. The upshot is that skill in verbalization tends to weaken skill in visualization. Exhorting the reader to release the latter, Robertson summarizes reputable studies (giving citations) that indicate that improving one's visual imagery can ameliorate emotional problems, addictions, and illness. Suggested exercises lend Robertson's work a self-help flavor, but the author is modest, making no life-changing promises, and his research is grounded in science. Although that tendency might dampen sales of his book, his readers might actually benefit from his findings. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved