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"Perception, Art, and Illusion" by Brian Rogers

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 1:00 pm USA-ET / 10:00 am USA-PT / 6:00 pm GMT

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Abstract: What is ‘perception’? What does it mean to perceive? What are the similarities and differences between our everyday perception of the surrounding world and our perception of artworks? How can perceptual research help us to understand art and, conversely, how can the study of art help us to understand the processes of perception? And what is an ‘illusion’? Are all our perceptions ‘illusions’? These are some of the questions that I would like to address in the 2021 Sixth Julesz Lecture. Much of what has been written about relevance of perceptual research to art has focused on low-level mechanisms such as seeing edges, contrast and colour but these aspects of perception are of little interest to artists. Instead, I would like to argue that we need to think about perception as an ability to extract meaning - what the world offers us - from sensory stimulation, and that this is just as relevant to the perception of art as it is to our everyday perception of the surrounding world.

Brian Rogers

Biosketch: Brian Rogers is Emeritus Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and also Professor of Psychology at the State University of St Petersburg. He started his career as an undergraduate and post-graduate student at Bristol University where he was supervised by Stuart Anstis and the late Richard Gregory. After leaving Bristol, he was appointed to a Lectureship and subsequently a Readership at St Andrews University in Scotland before moving to the University of Oxford in 1984. His main research interests are in 3-D vision, illusions and motion perception as well as the role of perception in the control of action. He has co-authored three books: “Binocular Vision and Stereopsis”, “Seeing in Depth” and “Perceiving in Depth” with the late Ian Howard and in 2017 he wrote “Perception - A Very Short Introduction” by Oxford University Press.

Béla Julesz (1928-2003) 
Béla Julesz (1928-2003)

  • MacArthur “Genius” Award
  • State of NJ Prof. (Rutgers Psych)
  • US National Academy of Sciences
  • Heineken Prize, Dutch Academy
  • Julesz’s Foundations of Cyclopean Perception was selected among the top 100 influential works on cognitive science in 20th century 

 Salvador Dali's "Cybernetic Odalisque - Homage to Béla Julesz" (1978) Salvador Dali's "Cybernetic Odalisque - Homage to Béla Julesz" (1978) 
(Must use with red-green glasses to obtain stereo effect)


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Organizing Committee

Co-Sponsored By 

  • Thomas Papathomas
  • Alan Gilchrist
  • Eileen Kowler
  • Brian McLaughlin
  • Troy Shinbrot
  • Bruce Tesar
  • Elizabeth B. Torres

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