Sight Unseen (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199596966

Melvyn A. Goodale; David Milner
232 Pages
162 x 242 mm
Pub date
Jun 2013
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Vision, more than any other sense, dominates our mental life. Our conscious visual experience of the world is so rich and detailed that we can hardly distinguish it from the real thing. But as Goodale and Milner make clear in their prize-winning book, Sight Unseen, our visual experience of the world is not all there is to vision. Some of the most important things that vision does for us never reach our consciousness at all. In this updated and extended new edition, Goodale and Milner explore one of the most extraordinary neurological cases of recent years-one that profoundly changed scientific views on the visual brain. It is the story of Dee Fletcher-a young woman who became blind to shape and form as a result of brain damage. Dee was left unable to recognize objects or even tell one simple geometric shape from another. As events unfolded, however, Goodale and Milner found that Dee wasn't in fact blind - she just didn't know that she could see. They showed, for example, that Dee could reach out and grasp objects with amazing dexterity, despite being unable to perceive their shape, size, or orientation. Taking us on a journey into the unconscious brain, the two scientists who made this incredible discovery tell the amazing story of their work, and the surprising conclusion they were forced to reach. Written to be accessible to students and popular science readers, this book is a fascinating illustration of the power of the 'unconscious' mind.


1. A tragic accident
2. Doing without seeing
3. When vision for action fails
4. The origins of vision: from modules to models
5. Streams within streams
6. The anatomy of conscious and unconscious vision
7. Why do we need two systems?
8. How do the two systems work?
9. Getting it all together
10. Postscript: Dee's life twenty-five years on

About the author: 

Melvyn Goodale, Canada Research Chair in Visual Neuroscience, The University of Western Ontario, Canada; David Milner, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Durham University, UK

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