[FUN_Mail] new neuroscience book, Coming to Our Senses

Susan Barry sbarry at mtholyoke.edu
Sat Mar 12 18:37:52 UTC 2022

Dear FUN members,
I'm a retired biology and neuroscience professor at Mount Holyoke College.
I've recently published a second book called Coming to Our Senses (Basic
Books, 2021).  My first book, Fixing My Gaze, described my experience of
gaining stereopsis in midlife, a story that was first told by Oliver Sacks
in a New Yorker article titled "Stereo Sue."  (See stereosue.com)

In Coming to Our Senses, I tell the stories of two young people I got to
know well over a ten year period. Liam McCoy was 15 when a surgical
procedure addressed several conditions that had left him nearly blind since
early childhood. But instead of seeing his family, friends, and everyday
objects within a three-dimensional landscape, he saw a hodgepodge of lines
and colors on one flat plane. Zohra Damji was 12 when a cochlear implant
enabled her to hear for the first time. But all sounds—voices, a car motor,
the rain—merged into one unintelligible cacophony.

Many people who gain sight or hearing after childhood are overwhelmed by
the onslaught of novel sensations and ultimately reject their new sense.
But Liam and Zohra not only adapted to but embraced their sight and
hearing.  Coming to Our Senses describes how they reconstructed and
reorganized their perceptual world, reshaped their identity, and rewired
the neural circuits in their brain. Their stories are a testament to human
resilience and neuroplasticity.

If you are interested in the book, please let me know.  I should be able to
send you a copy.
All best,
Sue Barry
Susan R. Barry, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences
Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience and Behavior
Mount Holyoke College
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