The eye, although a critical component of sight, is not where vision occurs. The ability to interpret the signals generated in the eye by the brain allows for the perception of vision. Sight is a complex sense requiring co-ordinated interaction amongst many regions and pathways of the brain. The untangling of these processes from the age of enlightenment through psychological experiments with optical illusions, to modern neural imaging, has revealed fundamental mechanisms of how the brain works.
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Neal Stephenson explores the distinguishing features of the world of Science Fiction.
Alain de Botton, writer, broadcaster and producer, ponders the question of beauty and its application to architecture.
Everything we buy, from books to baked beans, has a product code printed on it. More sophisticated check-digit codes exist on official documents, bank notes and air tickets. What are they for and what do they mean? We take a look at the mathematical structure of these codes and explain their purposes. And in this age of boundless surveillance, are there enough numbers for each of us to have a serial number of our own?
Talk given by Professor John D Barrow FRS