Experimenting with Experimental Brain Science Dr. Michael Raucci
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. William Butler Yeats
The Art of Teaching The Science of Teaching
Philosopher Entertainer Teacher Scientist Artist Technician
Teacher Duties • Counselor • Confidant • Advisor • Entertainer • Nurse • Arbitrator • Mediator • Babysitter • Disciplinarian • Friend • Judge • Supplies Technician • Mother • Ethics/morality model • Hero • Scapegoat • Role-model • Teacher
Goals Today 1) Not to teach you anything • The idea today is to allow guided exploration result in self realization and illumination leading to discussion.
2) We are going to act like really lousy scientists For fun I want to, when ever possible, extrapolate what we discover, to what this might mean if it the process we were examining worked similarly for other parts of the brain.
"I'll believe it when I see it with my own two eyes” We need to realize that that's not enough.
Waterfallby M.C. Escher What is Reality and What is Perception? Is there such a thing as reality?
The M.C. Escher painting exploits the rules of depth and proximity and our understanding of the physical world to create an illusion.
Is there perception without consciousness? • Is there anything without perception • If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one and nothing to record its happening does it make a sound? • Has it even fallen? • Are there stimuli that we can’t perceive?
COLOR & Shading
Luminance in a physical measure the luminosity of A and B is identical, Brightness is something your brain constructs. B is brighter. • Lateral inhibition is the ability of a neuron to suppress the output of its neighbor so that only the most stimulated form our perception increasing sharpness and contrast
As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view.
Similarly, the eye will compensate for colour contrast depending on the colour cast of the surrounding area.
Hermann grid illusion • The illusion is characterized by "ghostlike" grey blobs perceived at the intersections of a white (or light-colored) grid on a black background. The grey blobs disappear when looking directly at an intersection.
In this example of lateral inhibition, again the intensity at a point in the visual system is the result of not one receptor but multiple. • Staring at an intersection defeats the illusion at that intersection
brain of excessive stimulation of a specific type - brightness, tilt, color, movement, etc. The theory is that stimuli have individual dedicated neural paths in the early stages of visual processing, and that repetitive stimulation of only one or a few channels causes a physiological imbalance that alters perception.
There is no light source • Light could be coming from the top or the bottom • Your brain makes a choice. It’s a reasonable choice based upon evolutionary assumptions • What is it? Why?
It's a Lufthansa 747-400 and a United Airlines 757-200 that were on simultaneous approaches to runways 28L and 28R at San Francisco (SFO). The separation requirement for flying parallel and simultaneous approaches is 225 meters (738 feet). These two aircraft are at a safe distance for the approaches they are each flying. Due to the Lufthansa 747 being three times larger than the 757 and being slightly behind, gives us this illusion.
Shadow bias • http://gandalf.psych.umn.edu/users/kersten/kersten-lab/demos/BallInaBox.mov • http://www.kyb.tue.mpg.de/bu/demo/blue-ball/index.html • http://gandalf.psych.umn.edu/users/kersten/kersten-lab/images/kersten-shadow-cine.MOV
This illusion demonstrates the effect of some simple image processing occurring at the retina combined with some complex processing in the cortical cells of the striate cortex. The incoming image is first filtered by the centre-surround operator of the retina. The apparent tilt of the mortar lines is caused by orientation-sensitive simple cells in the striate cortex. The cells interact with one another to interpret the diagonal bands produced by the retina as a single continuous line, tilted in the direction of the diagonal bands.
The imaginary white triangle is one instance in which brain fills in some logical ingredients to complete the picture • Clouds – spotting recognizable shapes in clouds • Jesus grilled –cheese sandwiches • Fashion- the goal of some fashions is by concealing the exact shapes of the wearers body they give ample room for the brain to imagine the idealized representation it expects
The brain has a need to see familiar simple objects and has a tendency to create a "whole" image from individual elements…Gestalt • Another explanation of the is based in evolutionary psychology and the fact that in order to survive it was important to see form and edges. The use of perceptual organization to create meaning out of stimuli is the principle behind other well-known illusions including impossible objects. • Our brain makes sense of shapes and symbols putting them together like a jigsaw puzzle, formulating that which isn't there to that which is believable.