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The mystery of perception: how we construct our multisensory experience. In this event you will learn about how our most important senses (such as vision or hearing) work and how they are processed by the brain. We will also talk about synaesthesia, a condition in which two senses are triggered by a single sensory stimulus (feeling a taste when seeing a specific colour). Moreover, you will learn about the role of basic perception in more complex cognition, such as memory.
Synaesthesia: my visual ear
Dr Elliot Freeman (Senior Lecturer in Psychology)
Science is often driven by necessity, but sometimes we can also use it to learn more about ourselves. I recently realised that I can hear what I see: I get an auditory ‘shhh’ sensation when I see people walking, shop displays flashing, in fact anything that moves or suddenly changes in my visual field. I have many questions, which I am hoping to answer using the tools of cognitive neuroscience: Do others have this ability too? Does it correlate with other traits or abilities? Does my brain work differently? The short answer is ‘yes indeed’. For a longer answer, come and listen to this talk!
From vision to memory
Maciej Kosilo (PhD student in Psychology )
We often take for granted how complex vision is. The brain doesn't have direct access to the world around us: it's a process. It begins with eyes cells absorbing the light coming from the external world. The light is then translated into electrical signals. Such signals are quickly sent to the brain and put together to recreate images. We usually need such images to be available even when what we are looking at is no longer in front of our eyes. Fortunately, the brain is able to retain recent images for a while, so that we can still use them later. Scientists call that ability "working memory"