Optical illusions dazzle conference for leading thinkers

12 October 2009

UCL’s Dr Beau Lotto dazzled this year’s TEDGlobal conference with illusions that illuminate how our visual system works.

Dr Lotto presents at TEDGlobal

Dr Lotto, based within the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, is the founder of Lottolab Studio: a hybrid art studio and science laboratory that draws on glowing, interactive sculptures, educational programmes and music as well as peer-reviewed research to understand how our brains interpret what we ‘see’, and why this understanding provides a route to a more empathetic view of nature and human nature.

Dr Lotto demonstrated how his team are exploring the divergence between what our brains – and those of all creatures – ‘see’ from what is actually presented to our eyes, as a result of an evolutionary process that has taught us to see the world in the form most useful to our brains.

TED (which started life as Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a small not-for-profit organisation devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’. At this year’s TEDGlobal conference, held in Oxford, Dr Lotto was one of 50 trailblazing thinkers challenged to give the talk of their lives, in 18 minutes.

Follow the link at the top of this item to watch Dr Lotto’s talk in full.

Image: Dr Lotto giving his presentation at TEDGlobal

 

UCL context

Dr Rachel Armstrong (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture) is one of the TED Fellows, a programme which aims to help world-changing innovators from around the globe amplify the impact of groundbreaking projects and activities. At the Bartlett Dr Armstrong is advocating an approach to architecture that sees buildings becoming living things by spraying buildings with cells of fat to trap carbon dioxide and that will protect, and even mend, the building.