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The Science of Illusions

by Jacques Ninio; Franklin Philip (Translator) - £24.99  Cornell University Press (2001)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780801437700 | ISBN 10: 0801437709

Jacques Ninio, an international authority on visual perception, here explores the fascinating world of illusions. His book features a stunning array of illustrations including many images seldom seen in books on the topic. The art ranges from classical illusions inspired by rainbows, mirages, and other oddities of nature; to figures from seventeenth-century physics texts which Ninio himself unearthed; to spectacular new illustrations in which motion is perceived in fixed images.
Clearly and engagingly written, the book advances human understanding of phenomena that puzzle our vision or confuse the other senses.For the nonscientist, illusions show that the senses are unreliable. Ninio demonstrates that paradoxical images and auditory effects are in fact clues that reveal the methods used by the brain to interpret sensory data. He gives examples of the various types of illusions, explains their underlying logic, and shows their value for neurological and physiological research. Ninio also considers the reasons people have, for centuries, created illusions. He discusses the long history of scientific and philosophical scholarship involving these phenomena and provides insights on their cultural significance. Ninio's richly rewarding book will satisfy professional scientists and readers of popular science alike.

"This animated work about our fascination with illusions - from the age of Euclid to today - is filled with witty and accessible explanations accompanied by more than 100 mind-boggling visuals that will keep readers turning the book upside down and sideways again and again."
--Publisher Weekly, March 19, 2001
"Illusions are remarkable in their ability to elucidate the workings of the brain - a fact pleasingly demonstrated by Franklin Philip's new translation of Jacques Ninio's illustrated The Science of Illusions...Some of his wry insights need no illustration."
--American Scientist, Vol. 89, July-August 2001
"A specialist in visual perception, Ninio presents many classic and new illusions, explains the underlying logic of the various types, and suggests their value for neurological and physiological research."
--Book News, November 2001
"Ninio's Science of Illusions is a fascinating and informative survey of the science involved in illusions...[I]ntriguing and filled with scientific insight."
--Reviewer's Bookwatch, September 2001
"Clearly and engagingly written, The Science of Illusions advances human understanding of phenomena that puzzle our vision or confuse the other senses.", November 2001
"! ! ! ! ! Must Read"
--Today's Books, October 2001
"No other book has ever made me say "Wow!" or "Hmmm" so many times."
--Will ShortzCrossword Editor, The New York Times

Jacques Ninio is Senior Research Scientist at the Centre National des Recherches Scientifiques in Paris. He is the author of several books, including Molecular Approaches to Evolution. For almost a decade he has worked to create images that present challenges for current theories of visual perception. Franklin Philip has translated many books from French, including The Statue Within, an autobiography of François Jacob.

(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)

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