The Senses

This enthralling graphic novel is a follow-up to Neurocomic, with which it shares many traits. Primarily, they demonstrate that the graphic format is ideal for making complex biological systems comprehensible to all. Both catapult protagonists on journeys through the human body, narrated via sequential monochrome panels with or without text. The hand-drawn imagery is hallucinatory and largely composed of accurately rendered biological diagrams.

This book examines the neuroscience of the senses; Touch, Taste, Smell, Hearing, and Vision. One dark and stormy night, Minnie interrupts Diane in her attic laboratory. Diane is prototyping an augmented Virtual Reality device, which will trick the senses by simulating the brain. Lightning strikes the house, just as the device is turned on, electrocuting her. The section explaining Touch begins. Diane awakens, alone, in a strange landscape that feels solid. She follows a downwards sloping path and disturbs a talking nerve ending. Her first guide is interrupted by the next, an anthropomorphised mouse. After being chased by a cat, Diane encounters Four Heads, the scientists who discovered the mechanoreceptors. The spokes-head imparts information and then directs Diane onwards, to learn about chemoreceptors and Taste.

All the guides are of the same surreal ilk, talking animals and famous heads. Some pages require further explanation, signalled by a discrete ‘see notes’. The notes are augmented by a recommended reading list, of adult non-fiction titles, which reflects the intended audience. Leaving Cert students, and older, who are curious about neuroscience will enjoy this informative exploration of the five senses.

Book Cover - The Senses
Publication Date
October 2017
Age range