The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew about Human Vision
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The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew about Human Vision

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Primates evolved binocular vision (both eyes facing forward) so that they can see in three dimensions, critical as they jumped from branch to branch. Higher primates developed color vision to better hunt out ripe fruit. Optical illusions succeed because they exploit the limitations of our visual processing. Wrong! All of these beliefs are false, as groundbreaking research...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Benbella Books (first published May 2nd 2009)
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Daniel Bastian
"Why do we see in color? Why do our eyes face forward? Why do we see illusions? Why are letters shaped the way they are? "

Intriguing riddles such as these often necessitate interdisciplinary brilliance to solve. Theoretical biologist and neuroscientist Mark Changizi has been stockpiling research in these areas for much of the last decade, fixated on some of the fascinating but imperfectly understood precincts of human perception. Not content with asking how our central nervous system functions,...more
Michael Connolly
The color pigments in the cones of our retinas were selected by evolution to enable us to make fine discriminations in skin color to help us read emotions. Primates have forward-facing eyes to help is see through the clutter of leaves in the forests. The brain receives an image from the retina that is a tenth of a second out of date. The brain compensates for this by extrapolating from this out-of-date information to create a perception of what the three-dimensional situation must actually be at...more
Pete Welter
The Vision Revolution discusses four speculative but research-based ideas in why human vision works the way it does.

Changizi frames his topics as super-powers: Color Telepathy, X-Ray Vision, Future-Seeing and Spirit-Reading. Personally, I didn't need the super-power packaging, but the ideas and how he explains them are extremely thought-provoking. His writing style is accessible and the book is very readable - this is not a dry academic treatise. Better yet, each of the topics involve visual ex...more
A short, wonderful new perspective on how our vision actually works. Changizi shows us why we have the superpowers of:

Mind reading via a complex color processing visual system evolved for social interaction.

X-ray vision via binocular clues to object recognition and depth perception.

Future Seeing via inferences our brain makes about how the world works.

And Spirit Reading, or the art of conversing with the dead via written language.

Changizi embarks from an ecological and evolutionary standpoint wh...more
The basic premise of this book is that our vision evolved to give us specific powers for determining things about our environment. For instance, color vision developed so we can determine the color of skin, by which we become emotively empathetic. His argument is such that it would be hard to falsify it--if you are not aware of it then it is operating under the radar. I didn't see a lot of hard data from fMRIs backing the claims. Its a ways out there. I got to the point where he was saying that...more
This book poses four questions about the evolution of vision that I'd never formulated: what is colour vision for? what is binocular vision for? How was human vision preadapted for reading? What is going on with optical illusions of mistaken scaling? I don't have enough knowledge of he research to judge whether the theories presented here are an accurate representation of the current state of knowledge or just ingenious rhetoric, but I was convinced and fascinated.
Tim Petersik
Those who know me won't be surprised to hear that I love to read about vision. What makes this book great is what it's not: It's not just another way of telling how the eye transforms light into neural impulses. Rather, each chapter takes a "superpower" (e.g., X-Ray vision) and explains not only how we have it, but why we evolved to have it. It's a thought-provoking little read that kept me on my metaphorical toes for hours.
An interesting book; it covers some really interesting research on vision. The problem for me was the tone of the writing; the author tries too hard to be light and amusing at the expense of anything substantial, and it made me feel like I was reading a junior high textbook. Some of the examples in the last section seemed very poorly thought out as well. But the research is very intriguing and well worth reading about.
May 19, 2014 Yaaresse marked it as z-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I've tried twice in the last year to read this book. This time I made it to page 100 before realizing life is too short and my "want to read" list too long to keep fighting the fact I'm just not that interested in the material as presented. This one goes in the "donate" pile. Maybe someone really into physiological evolution or ophthalmology will enjoy it.
I really liked the first half of the book, the last part was a bit tedious and harder to make sense of. Changizi is an entertaining and engaging writer who makes hard concepts fun to read about.
The evolution of the human eye is not something I'd normally read a book on, or be interested in, but Mark Changizi's enthusiasm and skill engaged me throughout the book and left me wanting more.
Science For The People
Featured on Skeptically Speaking show #151 on February 12, 2012, during an interview with author Mark Changizi.
A very good explanation for our awesomeness!!!, answer the Why question about one of our greatest senses, and gives ideas about how we can improve it!!
Even though it is full of sinentific fact the book is great fun to read and the author clearly has a quick wit and enjoys the humor spiced throughout.
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Mark Changizi is a cognitive scientist, and Director of Human Cognition at 2AI Labs. He has written three books about his research: HARNESSED: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man , THE VISION REVOLUTION (Benbella 2009), and THE BRAIN FROM 25,000 FEET (Kluwer 2003).

He writes about science at places like... ChangiziBlog (HUB), Forbes , Wired , PsychToda...more
More about Mark Changizi...
Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man The Brain from 25,000 Feet: High Level Explorations of Brain Complexity, Perception, Induction and Vagueness (Synthese Library)

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