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The Mind's Eye

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  5,385 ratings  ·  521 reviews
With compassion and insight, Dr. Oliver Sacks again illuminates the mysteries of the brain by introducing us to some remarkable characters, including Pat, who remains a vivacious communicator despite the stroke that deprives her of speech, and Howard, a novelist who loses the ability to read. Sacks investigates those who can see perfectly well but are unable to recognize f ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Vintage (first published 2010)
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Aida It is about extraordinary cases of patients with brain diseases, damages, etc, and their experience of life by undoubtedly great narrator Dr. Oliver…moreIt is about extraordinary cases of patients with brain diseases, damages, etc, and their experience of life by undoubtedly great narrator Dr. Oliver Sacks.
I am listening to its Audiobook, and enjoying it. Very descriptive if you are interested in scientific Brain stuff. (less)

Community Reviews

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Petra Xtra Crunchy
I like all Sacks' books about the neurological problems and adjustments of the people whose stories he tells. However, when he comes to relating his own problems, that's another matter. He goes into far too much detail as though he had confused his audience - most of us are neither personal fans of Oliver Sacks himself (rather than his work) nor are we neurologists ourselves. We just got sucked into neurology-as-a-popular-science by the brilliant Awakenings, or the film of that book starring Rob ...more
Trevor
I listened to this one as a talking book. There were many, many times when I nearly stopped listening to it. The problem was that Sacks himself didn’t read very much of the book – his eye troubles have made reading difficult for him. By far the best parts of this talking book were when he was doing the reading. You would nearly think that the producers of this audio book picked the person to read the other bits of the book as a way to convince Sacks he should just do the whole damn thing himself ...more
Megan
I just wrote a blog post about my school memories and how deafness affected my school experience, and one paragraph seemed particularly relevant to this book, so I'll repost it here:

My favorite part of these school trips was the ride [to the audiologist]. The car we rode in was large, at least to my mind, and the back seat faced backwards. Even as a kid I enjoyed other perspectives; I would hang upside down off the jungle gym to see what everything looked like upside down, and purposefully choos
...more
Zanna
These latest fascinatingly annotated case histories from Sacks are as ever made wonderful by the rich and tenderly observed personal context of each patient. Most poignantly, he writes of his own experiences of lifelong prosopagnosia (poor facial recognition and sense of direction) and the distressing loss of his stereoscopy due to cancer.

Moving and at times painful, this book is as compulsively readable as Sacks' first publication, illustrating how endlessly wonderful and strange is the half-my
...more
Ellie
Like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, The Mind's Eye is a collection of case studies by neurologist Oliver Sacks (who is perhaps best known for his bringing Temple Grandin, an extremely successful woman with autism to the attention of the public and for the film with Robin Williams based on his book Awakenings).

Sacks is both a gifted writer and a gifted clinician who brings a warmth, compassion and genuine interest to people who have various disabilities as the r
...more
Kirsti
I'm always impressed by the author's compassion for his patients. One of them has perfect vision but also has a brain disorder that means she can no longer recognize specific objects. She can see an apple, but she isn't sure if it's an apple or a tomato or a pepper. She can see a toy elephant, but it might be a toy dog or a toy giraffe. But she claims to do well in and around her neighborhood. To test this, Sacks takes her grocery shopping . . . and to make sure she doesn't get confused about wh ...more
Cindy
Mind's Eye is classic Sacks. It's a collection of essays with a focus on case studies. This time they were loosely based around the theme of the Mind's Eye - or how our perceptions of the world translate to imagery in the mind. As usual, he looks at people who have some sort of injury, illness or deficit to tell us about the normal functioning processes.

Sacks has never shied away from including his own illnesses and problems in his books. (To wit: A Leg to Stand On and Migraine.) This time felt
...more
Petko Zhelyazov
Какво ли е да бъдеш сляп? А да виждаш само в две измерения? Какво ли е усещането да се събудиш една сутрин и да не можеш да разпознаеш собственото си лице в огледалото...буквално! Какво ли е чувството да спреш да разпознаваш нотите, при положение, че цял живот си се занимавал с музика? Или да изгубиш способността да четеш и разбираш думите, при все, че виждаш ясно всяка отделна буква?

В “Окото на съзнанието“, Оливър Сакс - професор по неврология, психолог и писател, разказва историята на пациент
...more
Michelle
When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought it was called "O, Liver Sacks". It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out it was called "The Mind's Eye". I loved the case studies in this book, and most of all how the people were portrayed as humans, not patients. My favorite chapter was probably the one on Lillian. The chapter on Oliver Sacks's eye cancer was really depressing, but it was still good. I definitely want to read more of this author.

Favorite parts:
"Lillian c
...more
Lisa
This book truely made me appreciate my brain and my eyes and their ability to work in tandem. HOWEVER, being a serious hypochondriac, this book also made me extreamly nervous about losing said ability due to a possible future stroke, eye cancer, or what-have-you (after reading The Family Who Couldn't Sleep, a book about prion diseases, i.e. mad cow, my relationship with meat, namely beef, has been permanently altered). Oliver Sacks writes in layman's terms and his case studies are all unique and ...more
cat
2011 Book 46/100

I have read many (if not most) of Oliver Sacks' books about the medical mysteries of neurology. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat was one of my favorites, and this new endeavor ranks near that 1985 hit for me. I was relieved, because his last book, Musicophilia, bored me to tears - an unwelcome and totally unexpected reaction to one of my favorite science authors. With this book, which explores "the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with ot
...more
Charlene
Reading this book in my mid-50s, I realize that I'm bringing much of my own life experiences to it and re-acting to the stories instead of considering them from a more scientifc or detached perspective. The new ideas about the plasticity of the brain fascinate me. Case studies though are hard -- those are stories of real people, greatly affected by brain accidents or diseases. The second chapter, Recalled to Life, was about a woman with severe aphasia after a stroke which is what my own mother h ...more
Jafar
Oliver Sacks writes great books about people with rare and strange neurological disorders. He then uses these case studies to understand the inner workings of the human brain. This is well-known by now. What I didn’t know about Sacks is that he himself suffers from one such rare and strange neurological disorder: prosopagnosia. Prosopagnosia is the inability to recognize faces. Sacks can’t recognize anyone, not even close friends and associates with whom he has worked for many years - not even h ...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
Oliver Sacks is a very enjoyable author. I love the case studies, he makes them just relatable enough while still focusing on the content/diagnosis to keep it intellectual. I had not given much thought to stereo blindness this was extremely interesting to me and the woman's account of what this was like for her seeing after forty some odd years of blindness of this type was simply fascinating. What I love about Sacks is that because many of these people were his personal patients or people that ...more
Debby
This is a book of case histories of people who are visually disabled and the ways in whch their brains have compensated to give them "sight".
I personally am visually disabled and experience visual hallucinatins, so I was hoping to find some explanation for why this occurred and what, if anything, can be done to stop the unwanted hallucinations.
The case histories were fascinating and I discovered a few ways my brain has compensated for the loss of sight. I felt a sense of "Oh, I do that" as I r
...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
I read this after reading Trevor McCandless's review. I was fascinated from page one onwards.

Since then I have bored nearly everybody I know by talking about it, lent it to my daughter (who found it just as interesting) and ordered another copy for my mother.

It is not just about eye-brain connections, though it is about that. It is about how different people respond in richly unique ways to sensory perception and sensory deprivation. But it is beautifully written, as simple as can be. Sacks is
...more
Alan
Jun 27, 2014 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with blind spots
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
Oliver Sacks has a rare combination of medical expertise and storytelling acumen—a knack for turning neurological case studies into folksy, engaging anecdotes—that I really, really like. One of my favorite acquisitions from the Quality Paperback Book Club (which is apparently still a thing, though I'm afraid I stopped being a member quite some time ago) is an omnibus edition of Sacks' Awakenings, A Leg to Stand On, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Seeing Voices, all of which I found fa ...more
notgettingenough
Maybe I'm being star-miserly again, but much as I enjoyed this, it didn't contain for me the great revelations I sometimes received from some of his other books. If you are especially interested in eyes, this will be the one for you.
LonelyRose
كتب دكتور أوليفر ببساطه تخلي الإنسان يقدر كل خليه في دماغه.. كل حركه الواحد بيعملها.. كل رمشه عين
Marfita
Reading Dr. Sacks's books makes me hypochondriac. I now worry about my visual cortex - but I'm not as far around the bend as when I read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat & Other Clinical Tales.
Neurology is endlessly fascinating and Sacks makes it accessible. His work has given me insights into brain function that turn my previous notions upside-down. Before reading about Temple Grandin I would have insisted that people needed words to think. I'm pretty sure that I use words to think,
...more
Tony
Sacks, Oliver. THE MIND’S EYE. (2010). ****. This latest in Sacks’ casebook studies concentrates on vision, primarily as it is controlled and/or interpreted by the brain. He examines in detail how people who are vision deprived, in some way, are able to navigate the world and communicate with others in spite of losing what most of us consider to be an indispensible sense. This work includes studies of a variety of his patients, including Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Mind’s Eye, by Oliver Sacks, parts narrated by the author, and parts by another narrator, produced by Random House Audio, downloaded from audible.com.

First, Oliver Sacks, now in his late 70’s, because of his own visual problems, introduces each character, but only narrates his own story, the experience of losing the sight in his right eye because of an inoperable tumor. We have six different stories here, including his own. One is of a person with face blindness, or prosapagnosia, a conditio
...more
Stewart
The case histories of Oliver Sacks, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University, use the dysfunctions of the human brain to shed light on the normal functions of the brain that we take for granted. "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" fit into this category. His latest book, "The Mind’s Eye," is another good example.
One chapter in this book, “A Man of Letters,” was of special interest to me because I saw the original article in The New Yorker several mon
...more
Deb
*Opening the mind's eye*

In _The Mind's Eye_, Oliver Sacks explores the fascinating relationship between vision, recognition, and perception, and the amazing ways that the brain--and spirit--adapt to disorders of vision. The first part of the book does so through fascinating case studies (that give us a look into remarkable ways people respond to vision disorders like aphasia, agnosia, and prosopagnosia), the second through Sacks' personal experience with ocular melanoma, and the third part throu
...more
Courtney Johnston
I have this little mental game I play with myself to pass the time - when I'm walking or driving by myself, usually. If it had a name, it would probably be called something lame, like 'Choices'. In it, two or three options for a particular choice are available, and I have to justify to myself why I pick the option I do. It's like debating with myself, I gues, and it goes something like this:

Palmerston North, Wanganui, or Hamilton? (Hamilton)
Taller or thinner? (Taller)
Live to 70 or live to 80? (8
...more
Laurie
I’ve been a fan of Dr. Sacks’ writing for many, many years, admiring his ability to explain in detail the workings- and malfunctions- of the brain without ever losing sight of the fact that said brain is a part of a human being. No one is every ‘the stroke in room 213’ to Sacks. In this book, the author takes on visual problems.

The eyes are merely one part of what makes up vision. They are lenses that gather information to send to the brain. It’s the brain that makes sense of the images it gets
...more
Judy
I got this one for Christmas and started reading a few days later. Each chapter is the story of one patient who is coping with difficulties in vision either from a problem with the eye or with the brain.

Oliver Sacks manages to write about scientific research and make it so accessible. Further, he writes about how the real people, who have these rare brain defects, manage to cope in their day to day lives.

It's a fascinating read. There is one chapter written about vision problems that Sacks himse
...more
Allison
I hesitated between three and four stars, but decided to give it four. I have read everything Oliver Sacks has ever written, and _Seeing Voices_ is one of my favorite books. However, I found this book less engaging than nearly all of his previous works. I enjoyed the new case studies, but I felt somehow that I had already read the same information in his previous books. The exception to this is his first-person narrative of his own experience with his changing sight, which was a somewhat jarring ...more
Blake Charlton
sacks returns with his customary brilliance, pedagogy, flair for narration. the mind's eye is a book that stands somewhat in the shadow of it's author. many of sack's most famous cases, most notably dr. p from the man who mistook his wife for a hat, are rebooted. the book also makes various, unconscious nods to its predecessor, musicophillia. and by dirrect comparison, the mind's eye lacks the brio that made musicophillia so engaging and strange. partially this is because sack's is himself a ver ...more
Julie
Despite the fact that this sentence: "I had had scintillations before, and coruscation, but never a fulguration of this sort" was in the book, it was actually quite readable. It explores the eyes, the brain and the "Mind's Eye" and what can happen if there is a problem with the brain or the eyes themselves. There are several case studies describing various people's experiences and their sometimes incredible abilities to adapt to what has happened to them. It has really weird and cool things like ...more
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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE (born July 9, 1933, London), is a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple: Sam, a physician, and E
...more
More about Oliver Sacks...
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales Hallucinations Awakenings

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