Complex and crucially important, the senses collect the massive amount of information we need to navigate daily life, and serve as a filter between our inner selves and the larger world. But the science of how the senses work has been little understooduntil now. New research is rapidly uncovering fascinating insights into how the brain processes sensory information. Its not simply a matter of the brain controlling the senses; the senses actually stimulate brain development. For example, the brains sound-processing centers mature properly only when sound impulses trigger them to do sowhich is why cochlear implants are best used before the age of three.
Brain Sense reveals this and a wealth of findings on how the brain and senses interact, as it examines each of the five major senses: touch, smell, taste, vision, and hearing. With eloquent writing and gripping stories, the author deploys a rare gift for explaining complex scientific ideas in a way that is clear and comprehensible. She introduces the scientists at the forefront of brain sense studiesneurologists, brain mappers, biochemists, physicians, cognitive psychologists, and othersas well as real-life people who are contributing to the research and benefiting from its practical applications, such as haptic devices to assist people who have lost limbs or rehabilitative software for those who have suffered impairments to their motion vision. Youll find new research that explains:
Why placebos work by changing the way the brain processes pain
How humans respond to pheromones in the same manner as other animals
How taste is highly influenced by expectations of taste
Why color significantly aids the ability to remember an object
How the capacity for language is already at work in newborn babies
What happens in the brain to produce sensory experiences such as dj vu and phantom limb pain
And much more
Expansive and enlightening, Brain Sense shows us that the brain is both flexible and variable, and the reality that we construct based on inputs gathered from the senses differs from person to person. It sheds a much-needed light on the elusive workings of the extraordinary human brain.