“Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in.” —The New York Times
Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste shapes. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her gift in this coming-of-age novel.
Over the past decade neuroscience has uncovered a wealth of new information about our senses and how they serve as our gateway to the world. This splendidly accessible book explores the most intriguing findings of this research. With infectious enthusiasm, Rob DeSalle illuminates not only how we see, hear, smell, touch, taste, maintain balance, feel pain, and rely on other less familiar senses, but also how these senses shape our perception of the world aesthetically, artistically, and musically.
DeSalle first examines the question of how perception and consciousness are formed in the brain, setting human senses in an evolutionary context. He then investigates such varied themes as supersenses and diminished senses, synesthesia and other cross-sensory phenomena, hemispheric specialization, diseases, anomalies induced by brain injuries, and hallucinations. Focusing on what is revealed about our senses through the extraordinary, he provides unparalleled insights into the unique wonders of the human brain.
Biology of Sensory Systems has thus been completelyrevised and takes a molecular, evolutionary and comparativeapproach, providing an overview of sensory systems in vertebrates,invertebrates and prokaryotes, with a strong focus on humansenses.
Written by a renowned author with extensive teaching experience,the book covers, in six parts, the general features of sensorysystems, the mechanosenses, the chemosenses, the senses whichdetect electromagnetic radiation, other sensory systems includingpain, thermosensitivity and some of the minority senses and,finally, provides an outline and discussion of philosophicalimplications.
New in this edition:Greater emphasis on molecular biology and intracellularmechanismsNew chapter on genomics and sensory systemsSections on TRP channels, synaptic transmission, evolution ofnervous systems, arachnid mechanosensitive sensilla andphotoreceptors, electroreception in the Monotremata, language andthe FOXP2 gene, mirror neurons and the molecular biology ofpain
Updated passages on human olfaction and gustation.
Over four hundred illustrations, boxes containing supplementarymaterial and self-assessment questions and a full bibliography atthe end of each part make Biology of Sensory Systemsessential reading for undergraduate students of biology, zoology,animal physiology, neuroscience, anatomy and physiologicalpsychology. The book is also suitable for postgraduate students inmore specialised courses such as vision sciences, optometry,neurophysiology, neuropathology, developmental biology.
Praise from the reviews of the first edition:
"An excellent advanced undergraduate/postgraduate textbook."ASLIB BOOK GUIDE
"The emphasis on comparative biology and evolution is one of thedistinguishing features of this self-contained book. .... this isan informative and thought-provoking text..." TIMES HIGHEREDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT
This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades K-1, Read Aloud Informational Text).
After a helpful introduction, this reference work provides A-to-Z, cross-referenced entries on hundreds of topics in the realm of human perception that allow students to find and digest information quickly and draw connections between related topics. Through the use of activity sidebars, readers will also be able to explore the workings of the senses firsthand, lending an element of interactivity to this accessible encyclopedia. A convenient end-of-volume glossary provides definitions of unfamiliar terms.