ILLUSION at Science Gallery





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Published on Jul 26, 2013

Should you always believe what you see right in front of you? Can you really trust your senses? Has technology made things clearer or has it muddied the waters between reality and fiction? And is anything really as it seems?

Highlights of ILLUSION: NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS at Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, July 2013.

Curated by psychologist and author Richard Wiseman and researched by magician and escapologist Paul Gleeson, ILLUSION: NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS offers an insight into the human mind by exploring the motivations and mechanisms of sensory deception. This exhibition combines magic with psychology, optical illusions with scientific reasoning, and confusion with clarity.

It investigates how perception underpins the way we see, feel, think and understand our world. This exhibition reveals that what our brain perceives is often radically different from what our eyes actually observe.

Magicians are experts at using cognitive biases to their advantage and recently scientists have started borrowing their techniques and combining them with advances in technology to gain a greater understanding of how the brain works. Magic may seem an unlikely tool, but it has yielded several widely-cited research papers on a broad range of topics.

So what does all this mean and how does it affect our day-to-day lives? Can we control our susceptibility to illusion? Is our tendency to be deceived an advantage in some circumstances and can we use that very human ability -- to see and feel things that aren't there -- to benefit our lives in some way?

For more, visit http://www.sciencegallery.com/illusion


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