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September 13 2017 Perception and Truth

Prof. Dr. I.E.C. Sommer, Universiteit Utrecht

 

Universiteit Utrecht profile

de Jonge academie profile

What we perceive and how we perceive it is the result from an intricate collaboration between our sense organs and our brain. Only small aspects of our surrounding are entered to conscious perception, with emphasis put on contrast, unexpected objects and movement. From there, we interpret these selected fragments on the basis of previously learned associations, using likelyhoods to guess the whole picture. What results is a strict subjective perception of the world, heavily biased towards expectations and previous experience. If we realize how subjective our world view really is, it helps overcome different views.

Iris Sommer is Professor Psychiatry at the University Utrecht and was elected a member of the Young Academy of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Science (DJA of KNAW). She is an invited member of AcademiaNet, making her one of the 500 leading women in sciences and putting her on the same list with the organization's chair Angela Merkel.