Faculty in the Field with Professor Don Katz


Thursday, March 30, 6:30-9 p.m. 
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave. (between 37th and 38th)

Apples to Apples: Just an Illusion

People are comfortable in the belief that their sensory systems tell them what is out there in the world. An apple looks like an apple and tastes like an apple, and so we know it's an apple. In reality, however, this belief (while comforting) is misguided: The information we get from our eyes and tongue is, in fact, highly ambiguous. Far from reporting "what's out there," the job of our sensory brain is to GUESS what's out there, a job that it performs by putting together as many different sources of ambiguous information as it can. 

Professor Katz will show this process in action, demonstrating how easy it is to change what something tastes like and even looks like. These demonstrations are not merely parlor tricks – what they reveal is that illusions, which we like to think represent our sensory systems malfunctioning, are in fact the very basis of perception!

6:30 p.m. | Wine and hors d'oeuvres reception
7:15 p.m. | Lecture by Professor Don Katz and Q & A
Event chair: club co-president Marissa Pick '07

Online registration has closed. Admission is $20 per person at the door. Space is limited.

For questions, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at alumnievents@brandeis.edu or 781-736-4057. 

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