Non Fiction

We Know It When We See It by Richard Masland

It was the tagline that got me interested in reading this book. I took an elective in my undergrad, which focused on Neural Networking, and I remember loving the course and for once taking great notes( despite not being able to recollect most of the content now). I leant it to a junior immediately after the course was over and every once in a while I think about how nice it would have been to be able to refresh the basics. That background did help me find a little something more, the deeper the author went into the subject.

The author’s purpose is simple, as he mentions in the book. He intends to bring the process of investigation, analysis and a general introduction of the neurobiology of sight to the average public since the scientific community would probably compile the notes in scientific journals that may not reach us. The problem was my copy was an advance reviewers version and lacked a lot of the diagrams being discussed, so I missed out on following a few facts. The content is supposed to be primarily about how we see and how our brain processes it. Sometimes there was a tangent when the people in the field are described for longer than I expected. Personally, I think a basic understanding of nerves, nerve endings etc. at high school level would be needed to process the more complicated analysis but maybe Google could help the really interested get further background information. The topics covered in the book do not merge to a single goal but instead talk about a lot of things, the majority of which I found fascinating. One thing that stuck with me and probably will for a while is the ‘face recognition’ parts of our brain. The study that gathered information about it and the results found were truly intriguing (to me).

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers. The review, however, is entirely based on my own reading experience and my prior minuscule amount of knowledge about some of the topics discussed here.


4 thoughts on “We Know It When We See It by Richard Masland”

    1. Funnily enough it was still good..I don’t think I have the patience to purchase it but if definitely recommend purchasing it to anyone who finds this review even mildly interesting 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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