A Tour of the Senses: How Your Brain Interprets the World

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JHU Press, Jan 27, 2012 - Science - 288 pages
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Ever wonder why some people have difficulty recognizing faces or why food found delicious in one culture is reviled in another? John M. Henshaw ponders these and other surprising facts in this fascinating and fast-paced tour of the senses.

From when stimuli first excite our senses to the near-miraculous sense organs themselves to the mystery of how our brain interprets senses, Henshaw explains the complex phenomena of how we see, feel, taste, touch, and smell. He takes us through the rich history of sensory perception, dating back to Aristotle’s classification of the five main senses, and helps us understand the science and technology behind sensory research today.

A Tour of the Senses travels beyond our human senses. Henshaw describes artificial sensing technologies and instruments, unusual sensory abilities of the animal kingdom, and techniques for improving, rehabilitating, and even replacing sense organs.

This entertaining introduction to sensory science is a clever mix of research findings and real-world stories that helps us understand the complex processes that turn sensory stimuli into sophisticated brain responses.


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Part 1 Stimulus
Chapter 1 Electromagnetic Stimuli
Chapter 2 Chemical Stimuli
Chapter 3 Mechanical Stimuli
Chapter 4 The Science of Sensation
Part 2 Sensation
Chapter 5 Vision
Chapter 7 The Mechanical Senses
Part 3 Perception
Chapter 8 Remembering the Present
Chapter 9 Perception and Culture
Chapter 10 Perception and Education

Chapter 6 The Chemical Senses

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About the author (2012)

John M. Henshaw is the Harry H. Rogers Professor of Mechanical Engineering and chair of the Department of Engineering at the University of Tulsa. He is the author of Does Measurement Measure Up? How Numbers Reveal and Conceal the Truth, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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