Science on Tap - Visual perception: How our brains create the world we see
We have all heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but do you know why? How does our brain capture elements in front of us to create the world we see? These questions and more, whether simple inquiries that keep you up at night or just innocent curiosities, will be answered, as the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is scheduling a series of interactive talks in the coming months, the first on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6 p.m. at O’Shea’s Irish Pub in downtown West Palm Beach. “Visual perception: How our brains create the world we see,” will explain the perplexities of visual illusions and what they can teach us. “With ‘Science on Tap’ we are really looking forward to expanding our audience,” said Kate Arrizza, South Florida Science Center COO. “Science is sexy - no longer do ‘nerds’ and ‘geeks’ draw the same connotation that they have in previous generations. Whether you love animals, dinosaurs, mysteries of the mind, cooking, swimming – whatever it is that you enjoy, there is some sort of science behind it, and if you are interested in learning more, while most importantly having fun, we encourage you to come out to one of these events.” Modeled after “Science Cafés,” a trend sweeping pubs and geeks throughout the country, ‘Science on Tap’ is the first registered Science Café between Vero Beach and Fort Lauderdale. According to Arrizza, it will be the only place in Palm Beach County where for the price of a cup of coffee, a quality craft beer, or a smooth glass of wine, anyone can come to discuss the latest trends in science and technology with a world-class scientist. With a motto to ‘drink up – get smart,’ you know you are in for a casual-education session, as the goal of the program is for guests to have fun while learning a little bit more about everyday curiosities. Taking place during Brain Awareness week, March 10-16, 2014, the event will feature guest speaker Dr. William Bosking, member of the Palm Beach Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and senior neuroscientist at Max Planck. In addition to learning more about how normal vision works, and how vision is altered with disease or damage, guests will also be able to interact with a variety of visual illusion experiments – including mapping of their blind spot and demonstrations about the importance of attention, among others. “I am very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium,” said Dr. Bosking. “I think it is perfect timing considering that it is Brain Awareness week, which is a global celebration about advances in brain science. While learning about brain science is important, as visual illusions may be indicative of sickness or disease, it does not have to be overwhelming. The format of ‘Science on Tap’ will be casual, interactive and fun.” The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, formerly known as the South Florida Science Museum, recently completed a $5 million expansion and renovation and is currently hosting Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, through April 20, 2014, in its newly expanded exhibit hall. With a new mission to “open every mind to science,” the Science Center features more than 50 hands-on educational exhibits, an 8,000 gallon fresh and salt water aquarium- featuring both local and exotic marine life, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall and an interactive Everglades exhibit. ‘Science on Tap’ is a free event, and patrons can enjoy O’Shea’s happy hour specials, which include $1 off well drinks, $3 draft beers, $4 bottle beers and $3 Irish Car Bomb drinks (starting at 7 p.m.). A live Irish band, Lahinch Mob, will be playing later in the evening and will feature a guitar player and violinist. ‘Science on Tap’ is being co-sponsored by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. For continued informal science education, please visit the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, located at 4801 Dreher Trail North, West Palm Beach, and open Monday – Friday from 9am-5pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm. For more information on the ‘Science on Tap’ series, call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsciencecenter.org. Like the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @SFScienceCenter.