Sacks by Subject

This list is not comprehensive, and most of Dr. Sacks’ writings fall into many different categories, so be sure to consult the index of each of his books for additional information. (Help us improve this list; send your suggestions to


HAT: title chapter


MARS: “To See and Not See”

MIND’S EYE: “Sight Reading” and other chapters

Alexia / Reading

MIND’S EYE: “A Man of Letters” and “Sight Reading”

Alzheimer’s / Dementia

MIND’S EYE: “Sight Reading”

MUSICOPHILIA: “Irrepressible: Music and the Temporal Lobes,” “Music and Identity: Dementia and Music Therapy”

–Sacks, Oliver and Melanie Shulman. 2005. Steroid Dementia: An Overlooked Diagnosis? Neurology 64:707-709 February.

Amnesia / Memory

HAT: “The Lost Mariner,” “A Matter of Identity,” “Murder”

MARS: “The Last Hippie,” “The Landscape of His Dreams”

MUSICOPHILIA: “In the Moment”

–Sacks, Oliver. 1996. Gowers’s memory. Neurology 46, pp. 1467-69, May.

–Sacks, Oliver. 2004. On Memory, Threepenny Review, volume 100, Winter.

Aphasia / Language

HAT: “The President’s Speech”

MIND’S EYE: “Recalled to Life”

MUSICOPHILIA: “Speech and Song: Aphasia and Music Therapy”

Auden, W.H.

–Sacks, Oliver: Dear Mr. A….. In Stephen Spender, ed., W.H. Auden: A Tribute.

Autism / Savant Syndrome

HAT: “A Walking Grove,” “The Twins,” “The Autist Artist”

MARS: “Prodigies,”  “An Anthropologist on Mars”

MUSICOPHILIA: “Two Thousand Operas: Musical Savants”

–Sacks, Oliver. 2001. Henry Cavendish: An Early Case of Asperger’s syndrome? Neurology vol. 57, October 9.

–Sacks, Oliver. Introduction to the paperback edition of Glenn Gould by Peter Ostwald.

–Sacks, Oliver. Foreword to Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin

Films: “The Mind Traveller: Rage for Order” (BBC)

Blindness (see also Vision)

HAT: “Hands”


MARS: “To See and Not See”

MIND’S EYE: title chapter

MUSICOPHILIA: “An Auditory World: Music and Blindness”


OAXACA JOURNAL: all chapters (ferns, tobacco, morning glory, chilies, chocolate, rubber, corn)

–Cox, Paul Alan and Sacks, Oliver. 2002. Cycad neurotoxins, consumption of flying foxes, and ALS-PDC disease in Guam. Neurology 2202 (58): 956-59.

–Sacks, Oliver. 2008. Darwin and the Meaning of Flowers, New York Review of Books, November 20, pp. 64-67.

–Sacks, Oliver. 2007. Botanists on Park, “Talk of the Town,” New Yorker, August 13, p. 25.

Chemistry / Physical Science

UNCLE TUNGSTEN: all chapters

–Sacks, Oliver. 1999. Hard Times for Curious Minds, New York Times, op-ed page, May 13.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1999. Everything In Its Place. New York Times Magazine, April 18, pp. 126-130.

–Sacks, Oliver. Scotoma: Forgetting and Neglect in Science. In Robert Silvers, ed., Hidden Histories of Science, pp. 141-87.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1993. Remembering South Kensington. Discover, November, pp. 78-80.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1993. Humphry Davy: a poet-chemist. New York Review of Books, November 4, pp. 50-56.

Color Vision


MARS: “The Colorblind Painter”

–Sacks, O., Wasserman, R.L., Zeki, S., and Siegel, R.M. 1998.  Sudden color-blindness of cerebral origin. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts

Films: “The Mind Traveller: Island of the Colorblind” 

Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (BSE, mad cow disease)

–Sacks, Oliver. 1997. Eat, Drink, and Be Wary, review of Deadly Feasts by Richard Rhodes. New Yorker, April 14, pp. 82-85

Francis Crick

Add New York Review of Books

Charles Darwin

Sacks, Oliver. 2008. Darwin and the Meaning of Flowers. New York Review of Books, November 20.

Deafness / Language


–Sacks, Oliver: foreword to A Man Without Words, by Susan Schaller.

Films: “The Mind Traveller: The Ragin’ Cajun” (BBC)


MUSICOPHILIA: “Lamentations: Music and Depression”


MIND’S EYE: title chapter

MUSICOPHILIA: “Awake and Asleep: Musical Dreams”

–Sacks, Oliver. Neurological Dreams. In Deirdre Barrett, ed., Trauma and Dreams, pp. 212-16.


MUSICOPHILIA: “Athletes of the Small Muscles”

Encephalitis: see Parkinsonism


HAT: “Reminiscence,”  “A Passage to India”

MARS: “The Landscape of His Dreams”

MUSICOPHILIA: “A Strangely Familiar Feeling” and “Fear of Music”

–Devinsky, Julie; Devinsky, Orrin; and Sacks, Oliver. 2010.  Klüver Bucy Syndrome, Hypersexuality, and the Law, Neurocase, in press.

–Sacks, Oliver. 2009. Michael Powell’s Neurological Cinema, Lancet, vol. 373, March 21, p. 1.  [reprinted in Film Comment, vol. 45, no. 3, May/June 2009]

Face-blindness /  Prosopagnosia

MIND’S EYE: “Face-Blind”

Freud, Sigmund

Sacks, Oliver. The Other Road: Freud as Neurologist. in Michael S. Roth, ed. Freud: Conflict and Culture, pp. 221-34.

Frontal Lobe Syndrome

MARS: “The Last Hippie”

MUSICOPHILIA: many chapters, see book index

–Sacks, Oliver. Foreword to The Executive Brain, by Elkhonon Goldberg.


HAT: “Reminiscence”

MIGRAINE: “Migraine Aura and Classical Migraine,”  “Migraine Aura and Hallucinatory Constants”

MUSICOPHILIA: “Musical Hallucinations”

Luria, A. R. (see also footnotes in most books)

–Sacks, Oliver: Luria and “Romantic Science.” In E. Goldberg, ed., Festschrift for Alexandr Romanovich Luria.

–Sacks, Oliver: Foreword to The Man with a Shattered World, by A. R. Luria.

–Sacks, O. W. 1977. Obituary for A.R. Luria, The Times (London).

–Sacks, O. W. 1973. The mind of A.R. Luria. The Listener, June 28.

Madness / Manic Depressive Illness / Schizophrenia

MUSICOPHILIA: “Seduction and Indifference”

–Sacks, Oliver. 2009. The Lost Virtues of the Asylum, New York Review of Books, September 24, pp. 50-52.

–Sacks, Oliver. 2008. A Summer of Madness, New York Review of Books, September 25, pp.57-61.


HAT: “The Visions of Hildegard”


–Sacks, Oliver. 2008. Patterns, New York Times blog on migraines, posted February 14,



HAT: “Reminiscence,”  “A Walking Grove,” “Witty Ticcy Ray”


MARS: “The Last Hippie”

MIND’S EYE: “Sight Reading”


–Sacks, Oliver. Introduction to the paperback edition of Glenn Gould by Peter Ostwald (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998).

–Sacks, Oliver. 2006. The Power of Music, Brain, vol. 129, no. 10, October, pp. 2528-32.

Film: “Musical Minds” (NOVA)

Neural Darwinism

–Sacks, Oliver. 1993. Making up the mind. Review of work by Gerald Edelman, New York Review of Books, April 8, pp. 42-49.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1990.  Neurology and the Soul. New York Review of Books, November 22.

Parkinsonism / Post-encephalitis


HAT: “Incontinent Nostalgia,” “On the Level”


MUSICOPHILIA: “Kinetic Melody: Parkinson’s and Music Therapy”

–Sacks, Oliver: Foreword to Shadow Over my Brain: A Battle against Parkinson’s Disease, by Cecil Todes.

–Sacks, Oliver: Review of Ivan: Living with Parkinson’s Disease, by Ivan Vaughan. British Medical Journal 294: 503, February 121, 1987.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1983. The origins of Awakenings. British Medical Journal 287: 1968-1969, December 24.

–Sacks, Oliver: Awakenings revisited. M. Sarner, ed., Advanced Medicine 18.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1993. Guam disease and post-encephalitic parkinsonism. Letter to the editor, Science 262, November 5, p. 826.

–Cox, Paul Alan and Sacks, Oliver. 2002. Cycad neurotoxins, consumption of flying foxes, and ALS-PDC disease in Guam, Neurology 2202 (58): 956-59.

–Murch, S. J., Cox, P. A., Banack, S. A., Steele, J. C., and Sacks, O. W. 2004. Occurrence of B-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in ALS/PDC patients from Guam. Acta Neurol Scand 110: 267-269.

Films: “The Mind Traveller: Poison In Paradise” (BBC); “Awakenings” (Yorkshire Television)

Phantoms / Alienation / Proprioception

HAT: “The Disembodied Lady,”  “The Man Who Fell Out of Bed,”   “Phantoms”


MUSICOPHILIA: “The Case of the One-Armed Pianist”

–Sacks, Oliver. Foreword to Phantoms in the Brain, by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee.

–Sacks, Oliver: Foreword to Pride and a Daily Marathon, by Jonathan Cole.

–Sacks, Oliver. Phantom faces. British Medical Journal, vol. 304, February 8, 1992, p. 364.


MIND’S EYE (stereo photography): “Stereo Sue”


–Sacks, Oliver: Color photography in the forties, Letter to the editor, Scientific American, March 1990.

Savant Syndrome — see Autism

Seizure Disorders — see Epilepsy


HAT: “The Dog Beneath the Skin.”

MIGRAINE: “Migraine Aura and Classical Migraine,”  “Migraine Aura and Hallucinatory Constants”

Stereo Vision

MIND’S EYE: “Stereo Sue” and “Persistence of Vision”

–Sacks, Oliver. Foreword to Fixing My Gaze by Susan R. Barry


–Sacks, Oliver. 1997. Doug Stern’s Curacao swim camp. Triathlete, September, p. 10.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1997. Water Babies. New Yorker, May 26, pp. 44-45.


MUSICOPHILIA: “The Key of Clear Green”

(neuro) Syphilis

HAT: “Cupid’s Disease”

Tourette’s Syndrome

HAT: “Witty Ticcy Ray,”  “The Possessed”

MARS: “A Surgeon’s Life”

MUSICOPHILIA: “Come Together: Music and Tourette’s Syndrome”

–Sacks, Oliver. Tourette’s syndrome: a human condition. In Roger Kurlan, ed., Handbook of Tourette’s Syndrome and Related Tic and Behavioral Disorders, pp. 509-514.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1992.  Tourette’s and creativity. British Medical Journal 305:1515-1516, December 19.

–Sacks, Oliver. Foreword to Don’t Think about Monkeys, ed. by Adam Seligman and John Hilkevich.

–Sacks, Oliver. 1998. The Divine Curse: Tourette’s syndrome among a mennonite family. Life, September.

–Sacks, Oliver: 1987. Tics. New York Review of Books, January 29.

–Sacks, Oliver: Acquired Tourettism in adult life. In A.J. Friedhoff and T.N. Chase, eds., Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome, Advances in Neurology 35 (NY: Raven Press, 1982).

Film: “The Mind Traveller: Shane” (BBC)


ISLAND OF THE COLORBLIND (Guam, Micronesia, Pingelap, Pohnpei, Pacific Islands)

OAXACA JOURNAL (Oaxaca, Mexico)

–Sacks, Oliver. 1989. Canada: Pause (1960). Antaeus 62, Spring, 192-200.

–Sacks, Oliver: 1988. Travel happy (1961). Antaeus 61, Autumn, 391-406.

–Sacks, Oliver. 2010. Colorado Springs Revisited. Columbia journal.


Sacks, Oliver. 1986. Review of The Silent Twins by Marjorie Wallace. New York Times Book Review, October 19.

Vision / Blindness

HAT: “Hands,”  “Eyes Right!”

MARS: “The Colorblind Painter,”  “To See and Not See.”

MIND’S EYE: “Persistence of Vision,”  “Stereo Sue,” “The Mind’s Eye”

MUSICOPHILIA: An Auditory World: Music and Blindness

Williams Syndrome

MUSICOPHILIA: “A Hypermusical Species”

Audio/Visual: “The Mind Traveller: Don’t Be Shy, Mr. Sacks” (BBC film)

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