Science Distilled - Is seeing believing?

Science Distilled, a new lecture series created by DRI and The Discovery, makes cutting-edge science approachable through presentations on current and curious topics held at hip locations in a social atmosphere.

Is seeing believing? – Perception in animals and humans. 

Why do you see one thing in an optical illusion while your friend sees something completely different? What is it about the brain that allows for these differences? If our experience is subjective, what can we learn about our brain function and behavior from animals?

At this event, our speakers will explore the intricacies of how we see the world and how they study perception, bias, and behavior using animals as different as dogs and octopuses.

DRI’s Mary Cablk, PhD, will share insights from her work with detection dogs. She will explore how an understanding of attention and perception in handlers influences the reliability of working dogs and the quality of data they collect.

UNR’s Gideon Caplovitz, PhD, will discuss the neuroscience of seeing and what can be learned about the brain from studying visual illusions, paying attention, and octopuses.

Together, their talks will help us consider the power and limits perception. 

Speaker bios:

Mary Cablk, PhD, is a remote sensing scientist with expertise in canine detection and image analysis. For twenty years she has been collecting data using detection dogs, and simultaneously studying their capabilities outside of laboratory conditions. This forced her to learn about humans and human perception, as the relationship between handler and dog adds complexity to research. She pioneers methods to reduce the complexity inherent in using dog-handler teams, to be able to document the capability of detection dogs.   

Dr. Caplovitz is a cognitive neuroscientist who researches the principles and neural mechanisms that underlie how we visually experience the world. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College and did post-doctoral training at Princeton University. He has over 20 years of experience researching the brain using a combination of behavioral and non-invasive neuroimaging techniques. In addition, Dr. Caplovitz has formal training in computational mathematics with a Master's degree from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and has completed internships at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies.  He has received funding for his research from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at UNR and the Director of the Cognitive and Brain Science Graduate Program.

Visit the Discovery and stay for Science Distilled.  

Presented with support from: Reno News and Review | IMBIB | Patagonia | 
Imbïb Custom Brews is an official sponsor of Science Distilled.

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