DECIPHERING THE SENSES: The Expanding World of Human Perception by Robert & Karen Gravelle Rivlin

DECIPHERING THE SENSES: The Expanding World of Human Perception

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Some interesting lore and information on the senses--much-too-often obscured by a diffused focus, questionable ""facts,"" or enthusiastic conjectures. The diffused focus arises from the authors' various distractions and diversions. A comparison of human perception with robotics is OK--but here the emphasis on similarities includes the assertion that ""robot eyes and robot ears and artificial sensory systems. . . are the rival of our own."" Human sensibility also tends to be compared unfavorably to other species': ""human hearing,"" for instance, ""is nowhere near as refined"" as the kangaroo rat's. (And, as regards human perception, ""Hearing is not nearly as important as seeing."") Among the questionable facts: ""Violent children placed in pink rooms often fall asleep within minutes""; ""There is indeed some truth to the notion that house plants will respond favorably if they hear music or are talked and sung to regularly."" The most flagrantly conjectural material is (unsurprisingly) in the ESP chapter--where we hear there are undoubtedly some real but as yet undiscovered sensibilities at work, and undoubtedly some levels of consciousness by which some of us (shamans, healers, psychics) communicate directly with someone else's unconscious. Though the authors' handling of some material is unexceptionable (pain, animal predator/prey sensibilities), overall this is a routine muddle of fact and fancy.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1984
Publisher: Simon & Schuster