Our perception is the foundation of everything we think, do, believe, know or love, says neuroscientist Beau Lotto. Terms such as “deviant” and “nerd” are usually associated with negative January 2019 Calendar Kalnirnay connotations. But neuroscientist Beau Lotto, in his new book “Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently,” explains that our ability to defy conformity is basically just about any effort on the planet Path of human progress.
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The next big innovation is unlikely to be new technology, he says, but a new way to look at things. National Geographic spoke to the author in his home in New York. He explained how a blind boy was dealing with echolocation in the world, why the color red does not exist, and how scientific research can lead to compassion.
Tell me, how does a neuroscientist manage to get a blurb from Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads for his book? I met Jerry through another friend, Peter Baumann of Tangerine Dream. Peter has launched a project called Being Human. He organized a conference and by chance I was the first speaker of his very first conference about four years ago.
Since then, Jerry and I are friends. In my research, I am also increasingly interested in music. There is something absolutely supernatural about their ability to do things that visual art can not do. I think that many future technologies will focus less on vision and more on sounds.
In 2015, a picture of a dress went through the Internet because people could not agree on what colors it had. What does that say about human perception? This story started in Scotland. Someone took a picture of a dress and then sent it around. Suddenly they could not agree on the color.
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This shows that two people can have different views on something as fundamental as color. When you say things like “we do not see reality,” people immediately think you’re such a postmodern relativist. But that is not the case. There is a physical world.
It’s just that we do not see her. Red does not exist, the grade “C” does not exist. These are all things that arise in our minds and that we project onto the world. What I liked about the story about the dress was that it stirred up doubts – and I’m someone who feels very doubtful.
I’m a color scientist, of course, and that’s why many of the press have called me and other color scientists to explain it. But I found that there was another story that was not reported on: why did the photo spread so virally? People are very familiar with the concept of [optical] deception.
So why did this delusion spread virally? Because it was about something as basic as color and about the fact that two people could not agree. But if that’s the case with colors, just think what that implies. January 2019 Calendar Kalnirnay If true at this level, it must be true all the way up to the processes in the brain.