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Mystery of the Senses—Vision

Program Overview

Why do some people crave chocolate? Why does music make some people cry at the movies? How did kissing begin? Mystery of the Senses, a five-part NOVA special airing over four consecutive nights, seeks answers to these and other questions as it explores the complexities of smell, taste, touch, hearing, and vision. In this exploration, series host and naturalist Diane Ackerman travels around the world to investigate the science, history, and cultural values that influence our senses.

Vision allows us to see color, motion, form, and shadow. Our brain interprets images so that we understand what we see. In this episode, series host and naturalist Diane Ackerman considers both the biology of vision and the mental processes and perceptions that govern vision. She seeks answers to how the brain makes sense of optical illusions, what the importance of eye placement is in predatory animals, how artists use light and color, and why the sky is blue.

Teacher's Guide
Mystery of the Senses—Vision