Sensory Communication

Sensory Communication

Edited by Walter A. Rosenblith

Available again: a landmark collection on sensation and perception that remains influential.





Available again: a landmark collection on sensation and perception that remains influential.

This landmark volume, which remains influential today, is the result of an interdisciplinary, two-week international symposium on principles of sensory communication hosted by MIT in July 1959. This symposium brought together prominent neuroscientists, life scientists, physical scientists, and engineers who, in Walter Rosenblith's words, "were willing to listen to neurophysiologists expound up-to-date neurophysiology, or psychophysicists talk about contemporary psychophysics, without being satisfied with their own version of the other man's science." The work presented forms the basis of much of the contemporary research in vision and perceptual science. First published by the MIT Press in 1961, Sensory Communication has been out of print and extremely difficult to obtain for many years. This reprint makes this valuable resource available again.

Contributors S. S. Stevens, Gösta Ekman, J. C. R. Licklider, Frank A. Geldard, Irwin Pollack, Colin Cherry, Hallowell Davis, Lloyd M. Beidler, Hessel de Vries, Minze Stuiver, W. A. H. Rushton, Floyd Ratliff, Yngve Zotterman, H. B. Barlow, Clinton N. Woolsey, William D. Neff, Jerzy E. Rose, Leonard I. Malis, Charles P. Baker, Werner Reichardt, Wolf D. Keidel, Ursula O. Keidel, Malte E. Wigand, D. M. MacKay, Timothy H. Goldsmith, M. A. Bauman, Vernon B. Mountcastle, Sven Landgren, Carl Pfaffmann, R. P. Erickson, G. P. Frommer, B. P. Halpern, Patrick D. Wall, Raúl Hernández-Peón, Geoffrey B. Arden, Ulf Söderberg, Kenneth D. Roeder, Asher E. Treat, Yasuji Katsuki, A. Fessard, P. Buser, M. Imbert, Richard Jung, F. Bremer, Mary A. B. Brazier, Keith F. Killam, A. James Hance, Theodore H. Bullock, Burton S. Rosner, Robert M. Boynton, J. Y. Lettvin, H. R. Maturana, W. H. Pitts, W. S. McCulloch


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262518420 860 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Walter A. Rosenblith

Walter A. Rosenblith (1913–2002) was Institute Professor, Chair of the Faculty, and Provost at MIT.


  • Back in the 1950s and 1960s a remarkable intellectual activity grew around the new engineering and physics of electronics and information processing. If MIT was one of the main centers of this whirlwind of ideas, then Building 20 was literally at the center, serving as a magical incubator for such diverse fields as information theory, cybernetics, neural networks, linguistics, neuroscience and computer science. Researchers roaming the building included Claude Shannon, Norbert Wiener, Warren McCulloch, Walter Pitts, Noam Chomsky, Jerry Lettvin, Marvin Minsky, and Walter Rosenblith. Rosenblith's Sensory Communication was one of the key catalyzers for this intellectual ferment that eventually converged into the ambitious attempt of understanding intelligence and of replicating it in machines—the harbinger of today and tomorrow's intelligent machines.

    Tomaso Poggio

    Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute, and CSAIL, MIT