This special presentation with the Metropolitan Museum of Art illuminated the complex and often surprising relationship between vision and the brain. In a wide-ranging conversation, Oliver Sacks and Robert Krulwich shed light on the interplay between what the eye sees and how the mind perceives it. Touching on topics including stereo vision, how the blind can be paradoxically hyper visual, and the mechanisms of visual hallucinations, this program added a new chapter to Sacks’ ongoing exploration into the fascinating mysteries of the brain and human experience.
Image © Elena Siebert
Robert Krulwich is co-host of Radiolab, WNYC Radio’s Peabody Award-winning program about ‘big ideas’, now one of public radio’s most popular shows. It is carried on more than 500 radio stations and its podcasts are downloaded over 5 million times each month. He is also the author of the “Curiously Krulwich” blog, featured on National Geographic, where he illustrates hard-to-fathom concepts in science using drawings, cartoons, videos, and more. For over two decades Krulwich reported for CBS and ABC News, explaining complex subjects in a clear, compelling and entertaining way. He also hosted a season of the PBS program NOVA ScienceNOW. Among his honors are two Emmy, two Peabody, and a George Polk AAAS Science Journalism Award for the PBS special, Cracking the Code of Life. Krulwich earned a BA in history from Oberlin College and a law degree from Columbia University.
Oliver Sacks, a physician and author, has been called “the poet laureate of medicine” by The New York Times. His books and essays, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, are used in schools and universities around the world. He is also the author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, and a forthcoming book, The Mind’s Eye.
In his books, Sacks describes patients struggling to live with brain conditions ranging from Tourette’s syndrome to autism, Parkinsonism, phantom limb syndrome, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. His book Awakenings inspired a play by Harold Pinter and also the Oscar-nominated feature film with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. His essays regularly appear in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, as well as various medical journals.
Sacks is professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine.