A lively and unconventional exploration of our senses, how they work, what is revealed when they don’t, and how they connect us to the world
Over the past decade neuroscience has uncovered a wealth of new information about our senses and how they serve as our gateway to the world. This splendidly accessible book explores the most intriguing findings of this research. With infectious enthusiasm, Rob DeSalle illuminates not only how we see, hear, smell, touch, taste, maintain balance, feel pain, and rely on other less familiar senses, but also how these senses shape our perception of the world aesthetically, artistically, and musically.
DeSalle first examines the question of how perception and consciousness are formed in the brain, setting human senses in an evolutionary context. He then investigates such varied themes as supersenses and diminished senses, synesthesia and other cross-sensory phenomena, hemispheric specialization, diseases, anomalies induced by brain injuries, and hallucinations. Focusing on what is revealed about our senses through the extraordinary, he provides unparalleled insights into the unique wonders of the human brain.
Rob DeSalle is curator at the American Museum of Natural History, where he has curated or cocurated six highly praised exhibitions and leads a research group in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. He is the author or coauthor of fifteen books, including Welcome to the Genome. He lives in New York City.