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Alexandra Horowitz Describes 'On Looking'

New book touts the value of observation in today's busy world

Alexandra Horowitz's book On Looking is a narrative of eleven walks around New York City to notice the details in everyday life.

For her book "On Looking," Alexandra Horowitz observed the same neighborhood through different experts' eyes. — Corbis

How do we see the world? The answer to that question, of course, depends on individual perspective — and it's what prompted cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz to write her new book, On Looking: Eleven Walks With Expert Eyes.

To research the book, Horowitz took 11 walks around the same block in New York accompanied by people with different areas of expertise, among them a sociologist, a doctor, a scientist — even a child and a dog. Each walking companion had different insights.

"I really stopped and looked a lot," Horowitz tells AARP Radio host Mike Cuthbert about her walks with the experts. "I just bothered to bring my attention to something in the environment and not just lay my eyes on it but try to assess what I'm seeing, and to notice patterns. It's really pleasurable."

Listen to the interview above.

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