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The Reality of Reality: A Tale of Five Senses

Saturday, June 1, 2019
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Your eyes and ears don’t tell you the truth. That’s not what they’re for. The senses evolved to enable us to survive and succeed in the world, not to represent it accurately. Now, for the first time, science is revealing exactly how the sense organs receive information, process it, and pass it to the brain, providing deep insight into why we experience the world the way we do—and what it might be like for future technology to transform such experiences, perhaps allowing us to see infrared light or feel magnetic north. Join an eminent group of neuroscientists and philosophers for an ear, tongue, nose and eye-opening adventure that challenges everything we experience in search of the true nature of reality.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.


Elizabeth VargasJournalist

Emmy Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas has traveled the world covering breaking news stories, reporting in-depth investigations, and conducting newsmaker interviews. She is the host of A&E Investigates.

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Christine ConstantinopleNeuroscientist

Christine Constantinople is a neuroscientist interested in how we make decisions, and the neural mechanisms of suboptimal decision-making and behavioral variability.

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Donald HoffmanCognitive Scientist

Donald Hoffman received his PhD from MIT and is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California Irvine. He is an author of over 120 scientific papers and three books, including Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See.

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Stavros LomvardasNeuroscientist

Stavros Lomvardas is a professor of biochemistry and neuroscience at Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University. His research lab’s goal is to understand the evolutionary mechanisms that shape sensory perception.

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Beau LottoNeuroscientist

Beau Lotto is a world-renowned neuroscientist who specializes in the biology and psychology of perception. His interest in education, business, and the arts has led him into entrepreneurship and engaging the public with science.

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Anil SethNeuroscientist, U of Sussex

Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience and Director of the Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex. He is also Co-Director of the Canadian Institute …

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