This week, the BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time (“Melvyn Bragg and three guests explore the history of ideas”) is on ‘Perception and the Senses’ (it must be neuroscience week at the BBC!).
Listening to it now, it’s a fantastic romp through the low-level neuroanatomy, visual perception, how senses are integrated and so on, and higher-level topics like illusions, what does the brain do (make and test hypotheses, says one guest). Great fun, and really good to hear super-smart guests talk about concrete examples (the McGurk effect, say), then the nitty gritty, and next bump up a few abstraction layers to talk about their personal models of the brain. I’m learning a lot. Near the end they discuss one of my favourite topics: intuitive physics.
The whole show is available as an MP3 download, and this episode will be up till next Wednesday (4 May), so grab it while you can.
See the In Our Time ‘Perception and the Senses’ archive page (where you can listen to the show in Real format even when the MP3 has gone), and download the MP3 here.
One thought on “Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time”
Awesome stuff – very packed with information and important ideas. And Richard Gregory is amazing. He’s been publishing for 50 years! (really! i found something of his by chance in a journal from 1952 i picked up the other day). Lots of stuff we cover in the book, and there was a whole theme – i thought – about how perception is constructive, which is also the theme of Hack #102 (“Alter Input With Expectations – http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2004/12/hack_102_alter_in.html), which (to tie it all up) uses the picture which Richard Gregory made popular in the first place and which gave me and Matt such a headache with trying to clear copyright that it didn’t make it into the book.