The Mathematics of Visual Illusions - SOLD OUT

Puzzling things happen in human perception when ambiguous or incomplete information is presented to the eyes. Rivalry occurs when two different images, presented one to each eye, lead to alternating percepts, possibly of neither image separately. Illusions, or multistable figures, occur when a single image can be perceived in several ways. The Necker cube is the most famous example. Impossible objects arise when a single image has locally consistent but globally inconsistent geometry. Famous examples are the Penrose triangle and etchings by M.C.Escher.

In this lecture Ian Stewart will demonstrate how these phenomena provide clues about the workings of the visual system, with reference to recent research in the field which has modelled simplified, systematic methods by which the brain can make decisions. In these models a neural network is designed to interpret incoming sensory data in terms of previously learned patterns. Rivalry occurs when different interpretations are confused, and illusions arise when the same data have several interpretations.

The lecture will be non-technical and highly illustrated, with plenty of examples.

Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics in the University of Warwick.

15 December 2016

5.00-6.00pm

Lecture Theatre 1

Mathematical Institute

Oxford

Please email external-relations@maths.ox.ac.uk to register

**Date**: 15 December 2016, 17:00 (Thursday, 10th week, Michaelmas 2016)**Venue**: Mathematical Institute

Woodstock Road OX2 6GGSee location on maps.ox**Details**: Lecture Theatre 1**Speakers**: Speaker to be announced**Organising department**: Mathematical Institute**Organiser**: Dyrol Lumbard (University of Oxford)**Organiser contact email address**: lumbard@maths.ox.ac.uk**Part of**: Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures**Booking required?**: Required**Booking email**: external-relations@maths.ox.ac.uk**Cost**: n/a**Audience**: Public**This talk features in the following public collections**:- Editor: Dyrol Lumbard