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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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We Know It When We See It What the Neurobiology of Vision Tells Us About How We Think

Popular Science New
By: Richard Masland
262 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
We Know It When We See It
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  • We Know It When We See It ISBN: 9781786078162 Hardback Jan 2021 Usually dispatched within 1 week
Price: £16.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Spotting a familiar face in a crowd is so easy, you take it for granted. But how you do it is one of science's great mysteries.

Vision is involved in nearly a third of everything a brain does and explaining the ways it works reveals more than just how we see. It also tells us how the brain deals with information – how it perceives, learns and remembers.

In We Know It When We See It, pioneering neuroscientist Richard Masland covers everything from what happens when light hits your retina, to the increasingly sophisticated nerve nets that turn that light into knowledge, to what a computer algorithm must be able to do before it can truly be called 'intelligent'. It is a profound yet accessible investigation into how our bodies make sense of the world.

Customer Reviews


Richard Masland was the David Glendenning Cogan Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. He died in 2019, and is remembered for his groundbreaking contributions to the study of neural networks and to the reversal of blindness.

Popular Science New
By: Richard Masland
262 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"A masterful page-turner that braids science and the stories behind the science. Wise, insightful, and written with the approachability and wisdom that only a veteran of the field can achieve."
– David Eagleman, neuroscientist at Stanford, New York Times bestselling author

"We Know It When We See It is the definitive description of the neuroscience of perception. Using language anyone can understand [...] Anyone interested in perception, machines that can learn, or how the brain works should read it."
– Andrew D. Huberman, Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine

"How do we recognize a face in a crowd? Starting with this question, Masland teaches us not only how we see but how we think and remember. Step by step, he paints a picture of the brain as a dynamic, wide-ranging coalition of nerve nets. This picture provides striking parallels with artificial intelligence and highlights the remarkable adaptability, creativity, and resilience of the brain."
– Susan R. Barry, author of Fixing My Gaze and Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Behavior, Mount Holyoke College

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