John Coffin Memorial Lecture in Science: Vision Impossible!
JOHN COFFIN MEMORIAL LECTURE IN SCIENCE
Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Oxford will give a talk entitled:
Thursday 12 Jan, 6.00 pm
Room 349, third floor, Senate House, WC1
Abstract: Our capacity to see the world around us is the culmination of more than half a billion years of evolution. Most of what we do with the flood of information from our eyes – controlling our hands, guiding our posture, deciding what to look at – happens pretty much automatically. But we also experience the world subjectively, like a finely detailed, ‘real-time’, seamless movie. However, it turns out that visual perception is an extraordinary conjuring trick. Conscious visual experience seems continuous, rich and stable. In reality, it depends on a rapid series of data-dumps, delivered three times each second as the eye settles on one target after another. And during each snapshot, the brain gathers, encodes and stores only a tiny amount of information. Deep questions emerge. If what we see relates much more closely to the 'reality' of the physical world than it does to the signals reaching the visual cortex, where does the extra information for the ‘reverse-optical’ process come from? And if conscious awareness is largely invented, why do need to be conscious of anything?
ADMISSION FREE WITHOUT TICKET.