Ep 86: The Science of Subjectivity: The World Your Brain Creates – with guest Dr. Jorge Morales

The science of subjectivity

The world you see is not really the world that exists. Your eyes and your brain are working together to “lie” to you all the time.  But, they don’t do this with some evil vendetta in mind.  In reality, they do it to make sense of the enormous amount of information flowing in from the world around you.  They have to make projections about what really exists.  And sometimes, they get it wrong.  Welcome to the science of subjectivity.

We can see this in all sorts of real world examples.  Trying to catch that softball? Your brain is guessing where it’s going to go before it gets there.  We also see it in optical illusions, where we are presented with proof that what our brain interprets is wrong.

Today, I’m talking to Dr. Jorge Morales.  Jorge is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Chaz Firestone’s Perception and Mind Lab. Jorge studies the science of subjectivity, using philosophy, psychology and neuroscience to understand the human mind—from how we see the world to how we become conscious of it.  Do you need to be conscious to form a subjective opinion about the world?  How do you even scientifically study subjectivity in the first place, when science is objective?  We also explore optical illusions, all of the different ways our brain lies to us, and why we need subjectivity in the first place.

You can follow Jorge on Twitter @jorgemlg

For patrons of this podcast, check out the bonus content at Patreon.com. You’ll find some amazing optical illusions and videos that illustrate how your brain tricks you.  You’ll also find a bonus mini-episode where Jorge talks about subjectivity in animals and if animals have “beliefs” about the world around them.  If you are not a patron and want to become one, you can sign up at Patreon.com.  Thank you for you support!

Some of the background music you heard are clips from:

The Long Goodbye by John Pazdan (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/flatwound/14476

ukeSounds by airtone (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/airtone/32655

Mr. Wozzie by Robbero (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/Robbero/51883

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