The Visual Brain in Action

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OUP Oxford, Oct 12, 2006 - Psychology - 320 pages
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First published in 1995, The Visual Brain in Action remains a seminal publication in the cognitive sciences. It presents a model for understanding the visual processing underlying perception and action, proposing a broad distinction within the brain between two kinds of vision: conscious perception and unconscious 'online' vision. It argues that each kind of vision can occur quasi-independently of the other, and is separately handled by a quite different processing system. In the 11 years since publication, the book has provoked considerable interest and debate - throughout both cognitive neuroscience and philosophy, while the field has continued to flourish and develop. For this new edition, the text from the original edition has been left untouched, standing as a coherent statement of the authors' position. However, a very substantial epilogue has been added to the book in which Milner and Goodale review some of the key developments that support or challenge the views that were put forward in the first edition. The new chapter summarizes developments in various relevant areas of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour. It notably supplements the main text by updating the reader on the contributions that have emerged from the use of functional neuroimaging, which was in its infancy when the first edition was written. Neuroimaging, and functional MRI in particular, has revolutionized the field over the past 11 years by allowing investigators to plot in detail the patterns of activity within the visual brains of behaving and perceiving humans. The authors show how its use now allows scientists to test and confirm their proposals, based as they then were largely on evidence accrued from primate neuroscience in conjunction with studies of neurological patients.

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About the author (2006)


Professor Milner gained his first degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology, at the University of Oxford in 1965, and went on to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology (Abnormal) from the University of London in 1966. He was awarded a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of London in 1971. He worked as a MRC Research Assistant with the late Dr George Ettlinger at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, between 1966 and 1970 before moving to the University of St Andrews. Here he held a number of positions, including Professor of Neuropsychology and Dean of the Faculty of Science, until he left in 2000 to take up his current position as Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Durham. Professor Milner has given numerous invited lectures, and has published 6 books and over 130 book chapters and refereed journal articles. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1992. Professor Goodale has published more than 150 chapters and research articles, and is a frequent invited speaker at international meetings. In addition to his research activities, he has been active in developing the graduate program in Neuroscience at Western, for which he was awarded the prestigious E.G. Pleva Award for Contributions to Teaching in 1994. Professor Goodale serves on the editorial board of a number of journals including Experimental Brain Research, Neuropsychologia, Debates in Neuroscience, and Advances in Cognitive Psychology. He is the past-President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. In 1999, Professor Goodale was awarded the D.O Hebb Award by the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science in recognition of his distinguished scientific achievements. In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2006, Professor Goodale was award tthe Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research.

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