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The Mind's Eye

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  8,523 Ratings  ·  704 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 October 20th 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)
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Pouting Always
This one covers people who loses their senses and still find different ways of communicating or navigating the world. It was actually pretty cool to see the ingenuity and problem solving that can take place when people have to compensate for loss of various brain functions. I really liked Lilian's story and I was pretty interested in the dementia symptoms she showed but the rest of the book I could've done without. I didn't really get anything new out of the rest of it perspective wise and thoug ...more
Trevor
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, psychology
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
Petra Eggs
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
Megan
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Barbara
Dr. Oliver Sacks was a practicing neurologist and professor who wrote a number of popular books about people afflicted with neurological and/or brain damage. In this book Sacks relates stories about patients who developed problems with their eyes or the 'vision' areas of the brain, including loss of the ability to read, inability to recognize everday objects, and impairment of stereoscopic and/or peripheral vision. Sacks also tells a very personal story about his own eye tumor.

Sacks starts with
...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
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
Zanna
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kirsti
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, science
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
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
Barb
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Sacks passed away this week and it is a sad loss to those of us who have enjoyed his books as well as to his friends and family. The Mind's Eye, like several other of his popular books, relates stories of his patients with ingenious adaptations to unusual neurological impairments, such as the lack of depth perception, or face blindness (inability to recognize faces). The second half of the book tells his own story in minute detail, of the melanoma tumor discovered behind his eye in 2005 a ...more
Ghada
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2-re-read
كتب دكتور أوليفر ببساطه تخلي الإنسان يقدر كل خليه في دماغه.. كل حركه الواحد بيعملها.. كل رمشه عين
Courtney Johnston
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, own
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
Nick
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I have the Dutch version of this book it still reads pleasantly. Only a few translation errors or one weird sentence but they are not that distracting.

This is a great book which gives fascinating insights into the brain, its adaptability and human resilience to life changing events that are quite subtle but have huge implications. Such as not being able to recognize faces or recognize written language but still be able to write letters or text. It contains an array of fascination storie
...more
cat
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-in-2011
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
Tony
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
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
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
May 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, audiobook
In six fascinating vignettes, Oliver Sacks explores fascinating case histories of his patients. In most of these cases, the problems arise within the patients' brains. Several of the patients lose the ability to interpret what they see, although their eyesight is not the problem. They may lose the ability to recognize faces or to read, or to negotiate walking in public spaces. I thought the last chapter to be most interesting, about how most (but not all) sighted people form visual images in the ...more
Debby
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
John Campbell
I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped to. I loved The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat when I read it, so I thought I would enjoy another book by Sacks about perceptual/neurological deficits just as much, or at least nearly as much. I think for me, part of the charm of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was that the types of deficits it discussed were so broad ranging. Reading about problems with vision over and over again wasn't as engaging for me. The section I enjoyed the mos ...more
Jessica Willis
I wouldn't have read it of it wasn't required for school. It's well written and some cases are interesting but its not my usual cup of tea.
Brian Kovesci
More Oliver goodness.

Thanks, dad.
Cristina
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Each chapter details a unique neurological phenomenon of visual perception - delving into research, case studies, and historical accounts. The last half of the book gets surprisingly personal as Sacks shares his own experience with ocular melanoma.
Katelyn
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Oliver Sacks' books are dense and sometimes feel like reading textbooks. However, his narrations are engaging and I always enjoy working my way through his texts. I now want to read many more books on the eye, visual problems and perceptions although I will hold off for now.
Alan
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Patrick
It's not as interesting as 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat', but I picked it up for a couple of quid in Fopp and it had some interesting bits and pieces.

The heart of the appeal of Sacks' books is how what happens when the brain goes wrong can help to illuminate what is going on in the brain, full stop. The first and, on balance, best, of the stories is about an aging musician who found one day that she could no longer read. At first, she thought it was an eyesight problem, and in one sen
...more
Laurie
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, was 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 Elsie, a surgeon. When he wa
...more
More about Oliver Sacks...

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“IT IS WITH OUR FACES that we face the world, from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Our age and our sex are printed on our faces. Our emotions, the open and instinctive emotions which Darwin wrote about, as well as the hidden or repressed ones which Freud wrote about, are displayed on our faces, along with our thoughts and intentions. Though we may admire arms and legs, breasts and buttocks, it is the face, first and last, which is judged “beautiful” in an aesthetic sense, “fine” or “distinguished” in a moral or intellectual sense. And, crucially, it is by our faces that we can be recognized as individuals. Our faces bear the stamp of our experiences and character; at forty, it is said, a man has the face he deserves. At” 1 likes
“Lev Vygotsky, the great Russian psychologist, used to speak of “thinking in pure meanings.” I cannot decide whether this is nonsense or profound truth—it is the sort of reef I end up on when I think about thinking.” 1 likes
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