Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See

Donald David Hoffman

An exploration of the extraordinary, overlooked creative genius of the mind's eye. We have long known about IQ, and we are beginning to appreciate emotional intelligence; yet there is another fundamental dimension of intelligence that shapes our experience, engages roughly half the brain's cortex, and largely goes unnoticed: our visual intelligence. Far from a passive recorder of a pre-existing world, the eye actively constructs every aspect of our visual experience-from the strut of a peacock to the nuances of light in a forest at dusk. In an informal style replete with illustrations, cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman presents the compelling scientific evidence for vision's constructive powers, and in so doing he unveils a grammar of vision-a set of rules that govern every aspect of our visual experience. Hoffman also finds support for his thesis in patients who have suffered devastating impairments: the artist who can no longer see or dream in color; the woman who, having lost her perception of motion, can no longer cross the street. Finally, Hoffman explores the spinoffs of this knowledge in the arts and technology, from the dynamics of cinematic special effects to the visual worlds of virtual reality.

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