The prevalent view in cognitive science today is that we construct our perception of reality in real time. But could we be misinterpreting the content of our perceptual experiences? According to some cognitive scientists, what we perceive with our brain and our senses does not reflect the true nature of reality. Thus, while evolution has shaped our perceptions to guide adaptive behavior, they argue, it has not enabled us to perceive reality as it actually is. What are the implications of such a radical finding for our understanding of the mystery of consciousness? And how do we distinguish between “normal” and “abnormal” perceptual experiences?
Cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffman and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan join Steve Paulson to discuss the elusive quest to understand the fundamental nature of consciousness, and why our perception of reality is not necessarily what it seems.
New York Academy of Sciences
February 7, 2019