Public Lecture – Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Shapiro

Departments of Psychology and Computer Science, American University, Washington, DC

Visual illusions: Why are we surprised by only some of the things that we see?

Saturday, May 18, 2024, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, West Community Library at the St. Pete College Gibbs campus, room L-101. Located at 6700 8th Ave N, St. Petersburg, 33710.

Visual illusions play tricks on our perception. Illusions often go viral on the internet because people enjoy examining visual puzzles that tell us our perceptions are not the same as what we designate “reality.” In this talk, I will show some visual illusions created in my laboratory and others, and I will explain how and why they were created. Research on visual illusions – which sits at the crossroads of many academic disciplines (neuroscience, psychology, math, physics, computer science, philosophy, and art) – addresses fundamental questions about how the brain constructs our perceptions of reality. 

Arthur Shapiro is Professor of Psychology and Computer Science at American University in Washington, D.C. He is co-editor of the Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions (2017) and has won international awards for visual illusions he has created. His research focuses on color and color contrast perception, motion perception, perceptual organization, and low-light-level vision, but he is interested in any question that relates to how the brain constructs our perceptual world. He is actively involved in public engagement in science, he has appeared on Nat Geo’s Brain Games, and was the presenter scientific consultant for two seasons of shows on visual illusions produced by CuriosityStream. He received his undergraduate degree from U.C. San Diego (Math and Cognitive Science) and his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and was a Postdoc at the University of Chicago.

About the VSS Public Lecture

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The annual public lecture represents the mission and commitment of the Vision Sciences Society to promote progress in understanding vision and its relation to cognition, action and the brain. As scientists we are obliged to communicate the results of our work, not only to our professional colleagues, but also to the broader public. This lecture is part of our effort to give back to the community that supports us.

Attending the VSS Public Lecture

Admission to the Public Lecture is free. The lecture will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 1:00 pm at the at the West Community Library at the St. Pete College Gibbs campus. Located at 6700 8th Ave N, St. Petersburg, 33710.

The West Community Library is a five mile drive from the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort (see directions). Free Parking is available.

The Public Lecture is co-sponsored by the St. Petersburg Library System, whose help we gratefully acknowledge.