Oliver sacks the minds eye summary
The Minds Eye by Oliver SacksIn Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks explored music and the brain; now, in The Minds Eye, he writes about the myriad ways in which we experience the visual world: how we see in three dimensions; how we recognize individual faces or places; how we use language to communicate verbally; how we translate marks on paper into words and paragraphs; and, even how we represent the world internally when our eyes are closed. Alongside remarkable stories of people who have lost these abilities but adapted with courage, resilience and ingenuity, there is an added, personal element: one day in late 2005, Sacks became aware of a dazzling, flashing light in one part of his visual field; it was not the familiar migraine aura he had experienced since childhood, and just two days later a malignant tumor in one eye was diagnosed. In subsequent journal entries - some of which are included in The Minds Eye - he chronicled the experience of living with cancer, recording both the effects of the tumor itself, and radiation therapy. In turning himself into a case history, Sacks has given us perhaps his most intimate, impressive and insightful (no pun intended) book yet.
The Mind’s Eye
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Sacks explores some of the most fundamental facets of human experience—how we see in three dimensions, how we represent the world internally when our eyes are closed, and the remarkable, unpredictable ways that our brains find new ways of perceiving that create worlds as complete and rich as the no-longer-visible world. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world. There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and eventually even to recognize everyday objects; and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties. There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and well-loved member of her community, although she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence; and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read. And there is Dr.
The Mind's Eye
More than anything else, Oliver Sacks is a storyteller. The book opens with a woman who suffers from severe difficulties in reading. Over the course of years her condition deteriorates, until her visual agnosia is so bad that she is effectively blind. Sacks gives a very personal and compassionate account of her story as he does of the other cases described in the book , and focuses on the womans personality and the way she tries to cope with her condition, as much as he does on the neurological aspects. Sacks is also very eloquent; Almost unrivaled in this respect, I would say. Nevertheless, after the first three chapters I was getting a little worried that the entire book would consist of case studies.
W e are all close to the brink of being someone else. The width of the wall of an artery, say, or the split-second action of a brake pedal, can be the difference between seamless continuation of the self we know and a mind-shattering stroke or head injury. We take our fragile brains so much for granted, sensibilities dulled by what Richard Dawkins calls the "anaesthetic of familiarity". But consider this, the strangest of facts: your thoughts, memories and emotions, your perceptions of the world, and your deepest intuitions of selfhood, are the product of three pounds of jellified fats, proteins, sugars and salts — the stuff of the brain and as tough as blancmange. It's absurd, wonderful and terrifying.
The Mind's Eye is a book by neurologist Oliver Sacks. One of the case studies concerns Susan R. Barry , nicknamed "Stereo Sue," whom Sacks wrote about in Due to strabismus , she lived without stereoscopic vision for 48 years, but became able to see stereoscopically through vision therapy. Another case study is of the acclaimed concert pianist Lilian Kallir , who suffered from posterior cortical atrophy yet was surprisingly resilient despite the numerous deficits it caused; the effect on her musical abilities was particularly notable. While her memory and personality were intact, she had problems processing visual stimuli, and was no longer able to read words or music, yet for years lived an extremely active life, frequently performing entirely from memory, with no one but her husband knowing she had any problems. Another case study was about a very vivacious, social woman named Pat who suffered a stroke that resulted in aphasia —a complete inability to speak or understand words.