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THIS MONTH'S TOPIC: Individual Differences in Perception

It's probably occurred to you that the way you perceive the physical world might not necessarily be the way other people perceive it — that what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell may be experienced differently by someone else. But what does science have to say about the matter? Research on the subject of individual differences in perception bears some interesting observations. For example, gender plays a role in the performance of visual tasks involving spatial discrimination and color, sensitivity to sounds and odor, and responsiveness to pain. Personal experience contributes as well — wine connoisseurs, musicians, and video gamers develop, respectively, heightened ability in detecting odors, sounds, and visual targets. And of course genetic quirks (like color-blindness, synesthesia, or supertasting abilities) also shape each person's unique experience of the material world. Come learn more about this fascinating and most fundamental of topics, and participate in a casual on-site research study!

SPEAKER: Ariella Popple; Vision Scientist, UC Berkeley

ABOUT THE SERIES: Ask a Scientist is an informative, entertaining, monthly lecture series, held at a San Francisco cafe. Each event features a speaker on a scientific topic, a short presentation, and the opportunity to ask all those burning questions that have been keeping you up at night. No tests, grades, or pressure…just food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe’s most fascinating mysteries. http://www.askascientistSF.com

Official Website: http://www.askascientistSF.com

Added by fourquarts on April 5, 2008