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The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization by Alberto Cairo

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5. The Eye and the Visual Brain

The distinctive feature of brains such as the one we own is their uncanny ability to create maps.

Antonio Damasio, from Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

Imagine yourself sitting on a bench in your favorite park. Your eyes are focused on a long story in the newspaper. Maybe you are reading it on your tablet computer, or maybe you are old-fashioned, as I am, and prefer the newsprint version. No matter. Either way, the world around you blurs and becomes unimportant. The storyline flows. You feel enthralled. You barely notice a group of children playing a few yards away. Your mind is off and wandering in a better place, chasing fleeting words.

Suddenly, you notice a movement in the corner of ...

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