Book Reviews

How Vision Works: The Physiological Mechanisms Behind What We See

Nigel Daw

Oxford University Press, 2012; $99.99 (hardcover).

This book distills the essence of the psychology, anatomy and physiology of vision in fewer than 300 pages. Each of the 10 chapters covers a separate facet of vision—such as color vision, attention, depth perception and eye movement control. After introducing each visual function, the text describes the underlying brain architecture and the impairments resulting from lesions to associated neural areas. The chapters include multiple color illustrations and end with the author’s selection of the most relevant papers and books, including current research and 19th century classics. The book also has a glossary, author index and keyword index.

The intended audience for this book includes graduate and advanced undergraduate students, as well as researchers looking for a unified view of vision issues without the bulk of more encyclopedic sources. Despite the breadth of coverage, there is significant depth. According to the author, one expert reviewer of the book even learned something new in his own area of expertise.

Review by Bogdan Hoanca, a professor of management information systems at the University of Alaska Anchorage, U.S.A.

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or OSA.


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