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Every day we are constantly bombarded by all kinds of information. People share with us their stories and opinions, while newspapers and television overwhelm us with discoveries and (pseudo-)scientific news. Are we able to properly interpret this information? This evening we will be introduced to information that ‘doesn’t make sense’, from semantic illusions to stereotypes.
When Moses took the animals on the Ark: semantic illusions and what they can tell us about language processing
Dr Anke Büttner (Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Birmingham)
People are good at making sense of language, at figuring out what others mean. What happens when this skill gets in the way of accuracy in processing a message? If asked how many animals of each kind Moses took on the Ark, most people answer with ‘two’ – even if they know that Noah was the chap with the Ark. Anke will illustrate how semantic illusions work and what they can reveal about language processing.
Sexing the Brain: how NeuroNonsense joined Psychobabble to ‘keep women in their place’
Professor Gina Rippon (Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Neuroimaging, Aston University)
The brain is often ‘blamed’ for differences in gender roles and new brain imaging findings are hailed as proof of the existence of sex differences. Is this Science or ‘Neurononsense’? Are scientific proofs based on outdated and disproved stereotypes? Gina will discuss the concept of ‘Neurosexism’ and will explain how to develop a ‘nose for Neurononsense’, in order to root out the ‘Neurotrash’ and finally make way for ‘Neuronews’.