Kristen's Reviews > The Mind's Eye

The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks
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's review
Sep 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: from-the-publisher, non-fiction
Read from October 14 to 25, 2010

Oliver Sack's style is warm and engrossing, easy-to-read for those who don't enjoy the technical and overly scientific, but still detailed enough to be of interest to those that are more scientific. This one focuses on issues related to vision and perception.

As the chatty (and sometimes oversharing) neurologist guides, readers meet patients afflicted with a number of conditions from prosopagnosia (face-blindness, an inability to distinguish between faces and recognize familiar ones) to alexia (inability to recognize letters / read them) to a lack and regaining of stereoscopy (depth perception and 3 dimensional vision.) Though Sacks often identifies with the patients and describes similar moments during migraines or other short term problems, I was surprised that he used himself as a case study, describing his own loss of stereo vision in detail through sharing his journal and experiences.

Some will accuse Sacks of exploitation, and others will be uncomfortable with his level of sharing (e.g. his cannabis use) but overall, he fills a niche in contemporary publishing with his accessible tales. It is uneven in places, and could be better edited, but not distractingly so. In learning about deficiencies and abnormalities, readers are exposed to the many intricacies of the brain.

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