Saturday, March 13, 2010

New book: See What I'm Saying (giveaway!)

Psychology professor Lawrence Rosenblum of UC-Riverside has a new book out called See What I'm Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses. Here's an excerpt from the product description at
[...] Rosenblum examines how our brains use the subtlest information to perceive the world. A blind person, for example, can "see" through batlike echolocation; a Master Sommelier can actually taste the grape variety, region, and vintage of an obscure wine; and pheromones can subliminally signal a lover's compatibility.To illustrate these implicit perceptual skills, Rosenblum takes us from the "beep" baseball fields where blind players swing at beeping balls, to a pitch-black restaurant where diners experience taste without the aid of sight. We accompany him on a visit to an Oscar-winning animator who explains how the public's expertise in perceiving faces has made his job so difficult; and a visit with a supermodel to discuss why beautiful faces are irresistible.
You can also read the first chapter online via Norton Books. Dr. Rosenblum and Norton have been kind enough to give THSP a complimentary copy of the book. I'll select one random person who comments on this post with your name, e-mail address (so I can contact the winner) and a sentence or two about your favorite sense and why. All entries must be in by noon EDT on Thursday, March 18. I'll post the winner's name after I contact him or her.


ajm said...

It's so difficult to pull apart one sense from the others, but if I had to pick my favorite, it has to be taste. I knew someone who lost their sense of smell and taste due to a head injury, and I can't imagine going without tasting my favorite foods or my coffee in the morning!

Andrea McKay
Jackson High School

Tom's Thoughts said...

This year I have a student with synesthesia and it was a facinating way to view the senses and perception. That and a good does of Oliver Sacks! I am curios about the new book.

pameladonehew said...

Although I enjoy all of my senses, each for their own unique qualities, I am most driven by my olfactory sense. I am strongly drawn to, or even more strongly, repelled from people by their odors. I once had a very close friend that was placed on lithium. His odor was so vastly changed by the drug that I found myself feeling ill in his company while he was on the drug.. . so much so that I could not longer be in his company. My oldest grandchild has inherited the some strong olfactory sense.
Pam Donehew
Sarasota Military Academy

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to pick out one sense but vision is my favorite. First, I can't imagine going without seeing beauty all around us. But, probably for me was a vision experience that I had. Two summers ago, I had cataracts replaced and while the doctor worked one of my eyes, there was such a variety of experiences. It was an opportunity to see the cones and rods in action. However, I do remember seeing a vivid blue on top of a vivid yellow. I tell my students about this experience when teaching the opponent process theory. It was amazing.

Ruth Mavis
Algonac High School

Wendy said...

My favorite sense is sight because I am mesmerized (nice word, eh?:)) by the visual stimuli in the world around me. Sometimes it can even be overwhelming to take it all in, but my sense of sight is the main sense that enables me to read, study, discover, and learn.

Wendy King
Timpanogos High School

Anonymous said...

I would have to pick our sense of balance (vestibular). My husband suffers from an inner ear condition where he frequently loses his sense of balance. When this occurs, he is totally incapacitated -- literally on the floor.

Stasi Mortimore
West Bloomfield High School

Carolynn said...

While it is difficult to choose one sense as a favorite, I think that mine may be touch. I really enjoy the softness of a fleece blanket, the warmth of a fire, or the comfort of a hug. I can even appreciate the scratchiness of a wool sweater!

Mr. Sandler said...

This question leads me to ask: "Which sense would I be most devastated to lose?" I would have to answer that the sense of touch would be missed the most. It feels possible to remember a sound, taste, or smell; touch is so personal, fleeting and unique.

Steven Turner said...

I assume that many people have learned to live fulfilling lives in the absence of any of the five senses. It is hard to imagine how I would perceive the world in the absence of any particular sense, but if forced to the choice I'd have to choose sight.