Seeing Colour in a Contemporary Light – lecture by Professor Anya Hurlbert

@ Life Science Centre

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11 October 2016

6pm - 7pm

£5 adult, £3 aged 14-17, 30% discount for Life Annual Pass holders

Anya, who is Professor of Visual Neuroscience and Director of the Centre for Translational Systems Neuroscience at Newcastle University, will be exploring how we perceive colours, not as physical things, but as subjective phenomena made by the brain.

You might remember #thedress, the internet phenomenon of spring 2015? Was it blue and black, or white and gold? The differences between the way people see the dress reveals fundamental differences between the way people’s brains work.

In this talk, Anya will illustrate some of these differences, especially through the phenomenon of colour constancy, a vital feature of normal colour vision. She will illustrate experiments carried out both in the lab and in public installations.

Anya Hurlbert is Professor of Visual Neuroscience and Director of the Centre for Translational Systems Neuroscience at Newcastle University. She trained as a physicist (BA 1980, Physics, Princeton University), physiologist (MA 1982, Cambridge University), neuroscientist (PhD 1989, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT), and physician (MD 1990, Harvard Medical School). Her main research interest is in understanding the human brain, through understanding the human visual system. She focusses on colour vision and its role in everyday visual and cognitive tasks, in normal development and ageing as well as in developmental disorders such as autism. She has particular research interests also in applied areas such as digital imaging and novel lighting technologies. One of her current research projects (HI-LED), funded by the EU FP7 programme, aims to understand how novel lighting technology may be used to optimise human health and performance. In 2004, she co-founded the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle; one of the UK’s foremost academic units focussed on neurosciences, uniting clinicians and basic scientists, and was Institute Director until 2014. Professor Hurlbert is active in the public understanding of science, and has devised and co-curated several science-based art exhibitions, most recently an interactive installation (a film, lighting demonstration and mass public experiment) at the National Gallery, London, for its 2014 summer exhibition. She lectures widely on colour perception and art, and contributes to media programmes on visual perception. She is past Chairman of the Colour Group (GB) and currently Scientist Trustee of the National Gallery.

Part of the Brain Zone series of events and activities devised to celebrate the opening of the new Brain Zone at Life Science Centre. The Brain Zone is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Life Science Centre
Times Square
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

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