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Basic Vision: An Introduction to Visual Perception

By: Robert Snowden, Peter Thompson and Tom Troscianko

440 pages, 320 illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Feb 2012 | Edition: 2 | #195690 | ISBN-13: 9780199572021
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £31.99 $42/€36 approx

About this book

Why do things look blurry underwater? Why do people drive too fast in fog? How do you high-pass filter a cup of tea? What have mixer taps to do with colour vision?

"Basic Vision: An Introduction to Visual Perception" demystifies the processes through which we see the world. Written by three authors with over 80 years of research and undergraduate teaching experience between them, it leads the reader step-by-step through the intricacies of visual processing, with full-colour illustrations on nearly every page. The writing style captures the excitement of recent research in neuroscience that has transformed our understanding of visual processing, but delivers it with a humour that keeps the reader enthused, rather than bemused.

The book takes us through the various elements that come together as our perception of the world around us: the perception of size, colour, motion, and three-dimensional space. It illustrates the intricacy of the visual system, discussing its development during infancy, and revealing how the brain can get it wrong, either as a result of brain damage, through which the network of processes become compromised, or through illusion, where the brain compensates for mixed messages by seeing what it thinks should be there, rather than conveying the reality. The book also demonstrates the importance of contemporary techniques and methodology, and neuroscience-based techniques in particular, in driving forward our understanding of the visual system.

Reviews from the previous edition:

"This the best textbook I have come across that dedicates enough time and space to describing the underlying physiology of the visual system and why understanding these neural mechanisms is critical to understanding human visual perception... The "conversational" style is great for breaking down the barriers between student's apprehensions and the neuroscientific aspects of the field."
- Nick Barraclough, Department of Psychology, University of Hull

"I was very pleased to discover 'Basic Vision'. The style is very engaging, and it covers all the main topics. The explanations are clear and generally well pitched for undergraduates."
- Kielan Yarrow, Department of Psychology, City University


0: A trailer to the book
1: The first steps in seeing
2: Signalling changes
3: To the cortex
4: Size matters (and so does angle)
5: Colour vision
6: Motion perception
7: The third dimension
8: Development of vision
9: Attention and neglect
10: The perception of faces
11: Perception vs. action
12: Methods in Visual science

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