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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

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  158 Ratings  ·  21 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
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"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,
Pete Welter
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 The brain receives an image from the retina that is a tenth of a second out of date. The brain compensates for this by extrapolating from this out-of-date information to create a perception of what the three-dimensional situation must actually be at ...more
Anatoly v01
Если книга отвечает на вопросы, про которые ты слышал, но хотелось поподробнее, это хорошо.

А вот если она отвечает на те вопросы, о существовании которых ты и не подозревал, причем в области, где вроде "всё и так понятно", это отлично.

Хотя теории (4 штуки) может и неверные, но всё равно очень интересно.
Bob Anderson
The premise of this book is that we have super powers, visually. Thankfully, Changizi is more tongue-in-cheek than one might think at first. He goes over four ‘powers’ which are more a placing of phenomena we thought we understood into a new context. The first: our three-hue color vision is not for seeing color in our environment (few tasks proto humans or our simian ancestors need three hues, especially two that are as close together as red and green) but for seeing minute variations in blood f ...more
Peter Corke
An interesting book in principle. He tackles the reason why we have particular visual capabilities and makes some interesting hypotheses. We have colour opponent vision to best read the amount of blood and oxygen level in peoples faces, so as to intuit the mood/emotion etc. Our eyes are placed in the front of our heads, not to maximise binocular stereo but to help us see through leaves. Optical illusions are caused by the way our visual brain attempts to predict the short term future, and the il ...more
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Very appropriate title. This book concentrates on 4 hypothesis that turn conventional notions on their heads. It is cutting edge neuroscience, and as anyone in the "science" fields know, means that it is not yet anything close to fact. Any reader should take this with an unhealthy dose of salt. That isn't to say it might not be true, but the material is just so new, and has not been studied/tested by other sources other than the author and his collaborators (and I am saying this in 2016, several ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is there a scientific method that can create optical illusions?
Why is skin color the most transparent color to the human eye?
What caused Chinese to evolve as a logographic (picture/symbol for a word) writing system?

Our eyes, turns out, aren't there for seeing only, but are a powerful medium translating our personality and choice into this world and vice versa: be it seeing emotions, x- ray vision, creating motion in space, re- programming our perception, and leading evolutionary changes in human
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: multnomah
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
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Tim Petersik
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, must-buy
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!!
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 , Psy
More about Mark Changizi...