Perception and the Senses

Listen in pop-out player

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss perception: how the brain reacts to the mass of data continually crowding it. Barry Stein's laboratory at Wake Forest University in the United States found that the shape of a right angle drawn on the hand of a chimpanzee starts the visual part of the brain working, even when the shape has not been seen. It has also been discovered that babies learn by touch before they can properly make sense of visual data, and that the senses of smell and taste chemically combine to give us flavour.Perception is a tangled web of processes and so much of what we see, hear and touch is determined by our own expectations that it raises the question of whether we ever truly perceive what others do.What governs our perception of the world? And are we correct to distinguish between sight, sound, smell, touch and taste when they appear to influence each other so very much?With Richard Gregory, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology, Bristol University; David Moore, Director of the Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research, University of Nottingham; Gemma Calvert, Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Bath.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 28 Apr 2005 21:30

Featured in...

Download this programme

Download this episode

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.

In Our Time Archive: A new way to find the programmes you want to hear

Free Will

We've created a new way to search through the programmes and would like your help.

In Our Time Downloads

melvyn-bragg.jpg

Every episode of In Our Time - available to download to listen to when & where you want.

Watch animations from A History of Ideas

The Libet Experiment

Explore some big questions about how we live today.