Cover image for The science of illusions
Title:
The science of illusions
Author:
Ninio, Jacques.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Science des illusions. English
Publication Information:
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
211 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Summary:
Jacques Ninio, an international authority on visual perception, here explores the fascinating world of illusions. His book features a stunning array of illustrations, including many images seldom seen in books on the topic. The art ranges from classical illusions inspired by rainbows, mirages, and other oddities of nature; to figures from seventeenth-century physics texts that Ninio himself unearthed; to spectacular new illustrations in which motion is perceived in fixed images.

For the nonscientist, illusions show that the senses are unreliable. Ninio demonstrates that paradoxical images and auditory effects are in fact clues that reveal the methods used by the brain to interpret sensory data. He gives examples of the various types of illusions, explains their underlying logic, and shows their value for neurological and physiological research.

Ninio also considers the reasons people have, for centuries, created illusions. He discusses the long history of scientific and philosophical scholarship involving these phenomena and provides insights on their cultural significance. Ninio's richly rewarding book will satisfy professional scientists and readers of popular science alike. Clearly and engagingly written, The Science of Illusions advances human understanding of phenomena that puzzle our vision or confuse the other senses.
Language:
English
Contents:
Inventory -- A brief history of illusions -- One illusion hides another -- Classifications -- Limits -- Contrasts -- Segregations, fusions -- Completions, creations -- Adaptations -- Constancies -- Reference points -- Arbitrations -- Illusions and culture -- Illusionism -- Artifice and convention -- Illusions of the memory and the mind.
ISBN:
9780801437700
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library BF491 .N5613 2001 Adult Non-Fiction-New Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library BF491 .N5613 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Jacques Ninio, an international authority on visual perception, here explores the fascinating world of illusions. His book features a stunning array of illustrations including many images seldom seen in books on the topic. The art ranges from classical illusions inspired by rainbows, mirages, and other oddities of nature; to figures from seventeenth-century physics texts which Ninio himself unearthed; to spectacular new illustrations in which motion is perceived in fixed images. Clearly and engagingly written, the book advances human understanding of phenomena that puzzle our vision or confuse the other senses.For the nonscientist, illusions show that the senses are unreliable. Ninio demonstrates that paradoxical images and auditory effects are in fact clues that reveal the methods used by the brain to interpret sensory data. He gives examples of the various types of illusions, explains their underlying logic, and shows their value for neurological and physiological research. Ninio also considers the reasons people have, for centuries, created illusions. He discusses the long history of scientific and philosophical scholarship involving these phenomena and provides insights on their cultural significance. Ninio's richly rewarding book will satisfy professional scientists and readers of popular science alike.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

What is illusion? In his thoroughly fun book The Science of Illusions (trans. from the French by Franklin Philip), Jacques Ninio (Molecular Approaches to Evolution), senior research scientist at Paris's Centre National des Recherches Scientifiques, teases his readers with the following possibilities: "The illusion of always being right"; "The sound of the ocean in seashells"; "The brilliant spray of fireworks, after the explosion, goes out in all directions. But all the bursts seem to stream back toward us." This animated work about our fascination with illusions from the age of Euclid to today is filled with witty and accessible explanations accompanied by more than 100 mind-boggling visuals that will keep readers turning the book upside down and sideways again and again. ( June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

Ninio (Centre National des Recherches Scientifiques, CNRS, Paris) has published widely on the subject of visual illusions. This fun and easy-to-read translation from the French is a collection of many illusions, mostly visual, together with explanations and commentary. Several of the illusions are difficult to find elsewhere. The illustrations are nicely rendered, and the descriptions of the illusions are clear. Ninio uses some of the illusions as starting points for discussions of broader topics such as the scientific method, abuses of statistics, and news reporting. This is a nontechnical book, somewhat similar to Eye and Brain, by Richard Gregory (5th ed., 1997). Chapter notes are collected at the end of the book. The usefulness of this volume for reference purposes is limited by the lack of an index. General readers. R. H. Cormack New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology


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