It is estimated that the human eye can discriminate among 7.5 million colors — an extraordinary number that gives a clue to the complexity and capabilities of the human visual perception system. In this fascinating, profusely illustrated study, Professor Mark Fineman explores the psychology and physiology of vision, including such topics as light and color, motion receptors, the illusion of movement, kinetic art, how we perceive size, how our eyes move, phantoms of the visual system and many other subjects.
Take, for example, the simple question, "Why does the world look the way it does?" Although seemingly simple on the surface, the question is maddeningly complex on closer inspection. Why, for instance, does one object appear circular, another square, and so forth? Moreover, if we view an object on a slant, its image on the retina changes, yet the mind remains aware of the true shape of the object. Scientists are still puzzling over exactly how the eyes and the brain work together to perceive even the simplest shapes.
You'll also find illuminating discussions of such phenomena as the "wagon wheel effect," i.e., the illusion that the wheels of a stagecoach, seen on film, appear to be turning in the reverse direction; or why human beings possess superb depth perception, although there is little about the structure of the eye that accounts for it. Especially interesting is the author's treatment of the processes involved in our perception of such visual illusions as the Necker cube, the Hermann grid, Poggendorff's illusion, and many more.
Readers will also welcome the wealth of demonstrations included, which students can perform themselves to learn firsthand the principles involved. Arranged in nineteen concise chapters — each explaining a different visual phenomenon — this richly illustrated text offers a wonderful introduction to the field of visual perception. It will appeal to students of psychology as well as to those in such fields as art, design, and photography. Preface. Annotated Bibliography. Index. Over 100 illustrations, including 5 in full color.
Reprint of the Oxford University Press, New York, 1981 edition.
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