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The Oxford Companion to the Mind


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Richard Gregory is an experimental psychologist whose particular interests include human perception and, especially, visual illusions. He is currently Professor of Neuropsychology and Director of the Brain and Perception Laboratory at the University of Bristol. His many books include the best-selling Eye and Brain, Illusion and Nature in Art (co-edited with Sir Ernst Gombrich), and Mind in Science.


First published in 1987, this second edition contains over 1000 alphabetically arragned entries on all aspects of the mind, including topics in neurophysiology, communication, psychology, and philosophy, as well as people relevant to the field. Returning as editor, Gregory oversees a team of British and American researchers who contribute articles varying in length from a few sentences to longer essays and are generally accessible to the nonspecialist. Most also have a bibliography of references dating primarily before 1980. Although some terms have been updated and added, much remains the same; a glossary has been added but seems rather unnecessary given its small size and duplication with entries in the main section. Likewise, the index is not particularly useful because it either points to the obvious or forces the user to hunt for a minute piece of information. In fact, the dictionary includes such a hodgepodge of terms that it is difficult to determine who would find it useful. Moreover, the inclusion of seemingly unrelated topics is puzzling, e.g., diver performance and Richard Francis Burton. Bottom Line Although the casual browser can learn intriguing details about the mind from this set, it should not be the only source of information for the serious researcher. For that, see Nature Publishing's four-volume Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science or the single-volume MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Recommended as a supplemental purchase for academic libraries.-Teresa U. Berry, Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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