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Re-Defining Normality

See Dr Beau Lotto of the UCL Institute of Opthamology discuss illusions and how they make us redifine normality.

Because illusions cause us to question our common sense notions of reality, they inspire curiosity - initiate a process of discovery. Illusions demonstrate that context is everything when it comes to our perceived reality, that our mental constructs are not accurate representations of the world, but useful interpretations of a world. Illusions show us that the mind is an evolved machine that constantly redefines normality, an organic network that creates, that finds useful relationships and patterns, patterns that are then used to guide behaviour. Illusions show us that what we see is necessarily relative to a normal grounded in history, and thus a normal that each of us can control. Thus, illusions ultimately tell us who we are as individuals: undefined by the bits that make us up, defined instead by our interactions. Through these interactions we create and re-create our personal perceptions and conceptions of reality. This is exciting and important stuff, which unfortunately is lost on too many who chose to place themselves in environments of low variability, of un-adaptable norms. Here, I will tell an untypical story of illusions. Along the way, we'll experience the sky in the bottle and the red of a setting sun. We'll hear the music of light, and see the world as an insect might see it. Indeed, we'll see bees solving puzzles that even our most sophisticated computers can't solve. We'll see first hand the brain seeing a new normal. Though grounded in science of illusions, the subtext of this interactive 'lecture' will be to use illusion as a metaphor for understanding, indeed learning empathy.


Dr Beau Lotto | talks


Date and Time:

8 May 2007 at 6:30 pm


1 hour



Louise T Blouin Institute
3 Olaf Street
W11 4BE
0207 985 9600

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£5 or free for concessions/members

Available from:

The Institute. Please phone 020 7985 9600 to reserve a ticket or email info@ltbfoundation.org

Additional Information:

For further information please visit our website - http://www.ltbfoundation.org/ltbi_events.htm

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