In 'The Space Between our Ears' Michael Morgan explains how our brain interprets what we see. Using a wealth of sources from over the centuries including philosophical writings, scientific thinking, experiments, passages from poems and novels, and scenes from films, Morgan reveals the difficulty in working out exactly how we make and receive our visual perceptions. To illustrate various points the book includes optical drawings as well as simple experiments that the reader can perform to test the different components of sight and our reactions to it. We need to have visual, tactile and aural senses which agree (plus, ideally, experience) if we are to form a unified picture of outside space. However, there is a long way to go in neurological terms before we can interpret how our brains actually see, or indeed the precise location of where this happens inside the grey matter. Morgan recognises that to achieve such an understanding may even necessitate the development of a new 'language' that can better encompass the difficult scientific and logical interpretations that will have to be made.
This intelligent, engaging book provides a revelatory overview of what we know about how the brain works regarding visual space, giving a unique insight into one of our most vital yet least understood senses.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: IMAGES AND MAPS; 1. Murder on the highway; 2. Conventional signs; 3. 'The long agitated question'; 4. Cyclopean vision; 5. 'Objects moving are not impressed'; PART TWO: MAPS AND MODELS; 6. 'Actual dynamical models of things'; 7. Machines that learn; 8. Controlled hallucination; 9. The Babel Library of icons; PART THREE: SPACE AND THE BODY; 10. 'Whirling madly through the darkness'; 11. Frames of reference; PART FOUR: THE LOCALISATION OF AWARENESS; 12. Who killed the chauffeur?; 13. Where is fancy bred?; 14. Unconscious perception; 15. The secretion theory of consciousness; 16. Into the mill; Conclusion