MCB Research Professor of Neurosciences John E. Dowling has published a book on vision and ocular diseases with his brother, ophthalmologist Joseph L. Dowling of the Rhode Island Eye Institute. The book is titled “Vision: How It Works and What Can Go Wrong,” and will be available on April 28th through The MIT Press.
“Over the past half century, I have been studying visual mechanisms while my brother has been treating visual disorders,” Dowling said. “Enormous progress has been made on both fronts, but we have come to realize that clinicians are not always cognizant of the more recent scientific discoveries, nor are scientists aware of the progress being made on clinical problems.”
The purpose of the book is not only to provide an overview of how vision works for a general audience, but also to bridge a communication gap between scientists and clinicians. In the preface, the brothers argue that it could benefit specialists in both science and medicine to take in a broader perspective of their work, as well as catch up on advances in each other’s fields.
“As science and and medicine become more and more specialized, it seemed to us worthwhile to take a step backward and see where we are,” Dowling aid. “What do we know about how we see, and what is the current status of the major eye diseases? What causes the disorders and how can we treat them? And what does the future hold?”
Several of Dowling’s colleagues have already lent their support to the new book.
“If translational medicine connects the laboratory to the clinic, then this intelligent book must be the first example of simultaneous translation, seamlessly melding concepts from the visual sciences and the practice of ophthalmology in a remarkably engaging narrative,” said ophthalmologist Leonard A. Levin of McGill University and the University of Wisconsin.
Dowling has published several books on the eye and brain, including “Creating Mind: How the Brain Works” “The Great Brain Debate: Nature or Nurture?” and “The Retina: An Approachable Part of the Brain.”