Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 4:08PM
Bob Gerber in Book Tips

I'd like to discuss two books today.  They both straddle the important connection between what our eyes sense and what our brains perceive.  

The first is "Vision and Art, the Biology of Seeing" by Margaret Livingstone.   There are other, more detailed and larger books, more akin to textbooks.   When I pick up a book on vision and art, however, it is a treat to see the material depicted in such a visually clear and appealing manner.  Dr. Livingstone's treatment of the role of luminance is particularly strong.  I have not found another book that treats this subject more effectively.  The book is beautifully produced with heavy glossy paper, vivid colors, and very readable content.  At just over 200 pages, it occupies a nice niche between a large textbook and small monographs.

The second book is "Eye, Brain, and Vision" by the Nobel Laureate, David H. Hubel. This older book (1988) is part of the Scientific American Library series. It seems to be out of print but there are used copies available in excellent condition at reasonable prices. I bought my copy through an Amazon reseller for $1. Typical of Scientific American publications, the writing is clear and the illustrations are first rate. The scope of this book is not unique but it has an interesting historical treatment of the evolving field and also some of the most important investigators.

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