The Mind's Eye Notes

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Department
English: Comp & Writing
Course
01:355:101
Professor
Tara Coleman
Semester
Fall

Description
The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks • To what extent are our experiences and reactions predetermined by our brains and to what extent do we shape our own brains? • John Hull: Became blind but in the years after he lost his sight, he experienced a gradual attenuation of visual imagery and memory and finally a virtual extinction of them (P. 304) o “Loss of the very idea of seeing” o New intensity for auditory experience/attention and sharpening of other senses o Became to feel “a sense of intimacy with nature, an intensity of being-in-the-world, beyond anything he knew when he was sighted” (P. 304-305) o Blindness is now “a dark, paradoxical gift”, “this is not just ‘compensation’he emphasizes, but a whole new order, a new mode of human being” (P. 305) o “An individual deprived of one form of perception could totally reshape himself to a new center, a new identity” (P. 305) o However, other blind people did not go through the same experience Hull did. They still retained their visual images and memories even decades after losing sight • Zoltan Torey: Became blind, but instead of switching from visual to auditory, he resolved to develop his “inner eye”, his powers of visual imagery, to the greatest possible extent (P. 306) o Developed a power of generating, holding, a manipulating images in his mind o Was able to construct an imagined visual world that seemed as real as the one he lost o Maintained a cautious and “scientific” attitude to his own visual imagery, checking the accuracy of his images by every means possible (P.
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