Believing is seeing, seeing is hearing
October 18, 2010 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Is seeing believing? BBC Horizon looks at sensory perception, illusions and the interplay of our different senses. (Full program for UK viewers here). Makes you feel like you've entered The Twilight Zone.

It turns out that pretty often believing is seeing, that what you see can completely alter what you hear, that trained chefs totally misidentify food tastes when the color cues are wrong, and hearing different sounds piped through headsets can make food feel crispier or less crisp in their mouths.

If you can watch the whole show, there are many fascinating and funny examples of how senses and perception don't work the way that most of us thought. And there's a blind guy that rides a bicycle while sensing his surroundings bat-like via echolocation.
posted by philipy (16 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
<3 Horizon
posted by New England Cultist at 8:25 PM on October 18, 2010


I like the one where you put on a VR helmet that's hooked to cameras and microphones at a remote location -- or, better yet, STARING BACK AT YOUR BODY -- which effectively transports your "consciousness" to an "out of body" location.

Mentioned here but can't find a video.
posted by LordSludge at 8:32 PM on October 18, 2010


If the direct link doesn't work, copy it and paste it into Windows Media Player or RealPlayer (File - Open URL).

I guess this is old, but I simply am not interested in downloading video just to find out what it is in this age of Youtube. Also, fuck you and your regional copyright regime BBC.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:51 PM on October 18, 2010


Isn't this how hey help people with phantom limb pain? Something with mirrors?
posted by gottabefunky at 9:16 PM on October 18, 2010


I just saw this programme last night and it was fascinating. My favourite part was the Rubber Hand Illusion, which shows how you can trick your brain into thinking a rubber hand is your own in just a few minutes.
posted by ukdanae at 12:09 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


So -- do they feel pain when the rubber hand gets hit with the hammer? It's never explained in the video.
posted by archagon at 12:59 AM on October 19, 2010


Only caught a bit of it last night, but the part where they gave the guy a 6th sense using, I think, some kind of belt that told him what direction he was facing (using a compass) was really interesting. I can see in 100 years people with implants that give them 6th, 7th, 8th, ....nth senses allowing them to instinctively sense directions, magnetic fields, wifi signals, etc... The part where they were training military helicopter pilots to fly without any visual readings (not even instruments) using similar technology was really cool too.

And I've love to try out that 3rd person perspective thing where it links the VR helmet to cameras mounted above and behind your own head. Just need to at a health bar and an ammo counter linked to a Nerf gun and you've got real life Gears Of War. Well maybe you'd need to paint everything brown first, but you get the idea.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:16 AM on October 19, 2010


Also, fuck you and your regional copyright regime BBC.

Hey, I don't pay my licence fee so that you foreigners can scrounge free documentaries! ;)
Seriously though they should let non-UK people sign up for an annual subscription to iPlayer (i.e. let them pay the licence fee even though they're not UK residents). I bet they could make a decent amount of money, although I guess they have licensing deals with non-UK channels who buy BBC programs which might disallow that. I hear that's actually one of the biggest sources of income for the BBC.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:19 AM on October 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just watched the whole thing on acid and it was really boring. :-)
posted by Decani at 4:08 AM on October 19, 2010


Hey, I don't pay my licence fee so that you foreigners can scrounge free documentaries! ;)
Seriously though they should let non-UK people sign up for an annual subscription to iPlayer (i.e. let them pay the licence fee even though they're not UK residents). I bet they could make a decent amount of money, although I guess they have licensing deals with non-UK channels who buy BBC programs which might disallow that. I hear that's actually one of the biggest sources of income for the BBC.


Actually, you don't pay a license fee so you can watch videos on the iPlayer. The license fee is only for live broadcast television.
posted by srboisvert at 5:30 AM on October 19, 2010


I like the one where you put on a VR helmet that's hooked to cameras and microphones at a remote location -- or, better yet, STARING BACK AT YOUR BODY -- which effectively transports your "consciousness" to an "out of body" location.

You can play pretty much any video game to get the same effect.
posted by empath at 5:39 AM on October 19, 2010


Actually, you don't pay a license fee so you can watch videos on the iPlayer. The license fee is only for live broadcast television.

But the stuff shown on iPlayer is created by licence fees, no? If no-one paid the licence fee there'd be no money to make Eastenders, for example.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:48 AM on October 19, 2010


created by licence fees

Sorry, by that I meant the creation of the programming on iPlayer is funded by licence fees.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:48 AM on October 19, 2010


full program, torrent
posted by crunchland at 8:43 AM on October 19, 2010


As far as I know the reason for not streaming iPlayer video outside the UK is that it would cost a lot in terms of paying for the bandwidth. (The bandwidth is also paid for out of the license fee of course.) That's why audio is available, but not video.

Remember there could easily be more hits from international viewers than from the UK.

Anyway, Europeans suffer from not being able to watch Hulu et al. Even a lot of stuff on YouTube is US only.

But there are always ways to circumvent these things if you are determined to.
posted by philipy at 10:01 AM on October 19, 2010


There have been a few times in my life when I really could not believe what I was seeing even though it was right there.
posted by Fundraising Ideas at 12:40 PM on October 19, 2010


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