Review of Vision: How It Works and What Can Go Wrong | Leonardo

Review of Vision: How It Works and What Can Go Wrong

Vision: How It Works and What Can Go Wrong
by John. E Dowling and Joseph. L Dowling, Jr.

The MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2016
204 pp. $32.00
ISBN: 978-0-262-03461-6

Reviewed by: 
George Shortess
February 2017

This book provides a clear and up to date overview of the visual nervous system and is a valuable contribution to the literature. In addition to presenting normal visual functions, the book discusses visual disorders, including causes, treatments, and cures where known. It does all of this by proceeding in a very orderly way, from the eyeball to the cortex, making science come alive and relevant.

Because vision is our most important sensory system, and the one about which we know the most, it can serve as a guide for understanding other parts of the nervous system and as such the nature of human experience. This is an exciting possibility.

The authors are two brothers who have both pursued distinguished careers in visual science, one as a basic neuroscientist, and the other as an ophthalmologist. By combining their knowledge and experiences, they have produced a book that gives the big picture and is accessible to the serious reader without a great deal of technical background. A glossary is included to help. But it can also be valuable and enjoyable to researchers and clinicians alike. Highly recommended.