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May 1969

The Eye: Phenomenology and Psychology of Function and Disorder.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(5):605. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740170109016

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The chief value of this book lies in the author's attempt to demonstrate "the indissoluble unity of a person and his world in health," and the "consequences that follow when this unity is broken in disease." To understand disease, therefore, he believes it is imperative to consider not only the total human organism, but also its environment. Heaton considers the eye and the visual world in the context of the phenomenology of the body. He seeks to integrate such disciplines as medicine, psychology, philosophy, and the arts, and to delineate their effect on vision and the visual world. The author postulates that in disease the individual suffers a disruption of the body-world experience, and that these disturbances are often associated with ocular and visual disorders.

Two excellent chapters on the normal visual world review the psychological aspects of perception. Of particular interest are the experiments demonstrating synaesthesia—the phenomenon in which

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