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On the MoBM’06 workshop December 4, 2006

Posted by sumesh in Uncategorized.
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In the next few blogs I plan to tell you briefly, about the lectures of some of the invited speakers of the workshop which are close to my own research . The full list of the speakers is here and the list of the abstracts is here

I find the talks of Semir Zeki, Hakwan Lau, Igor Aleksander, Sisir Roy, Zoltan Dienes, and Rahul Banerjee not just fascinating but some where very similar to my research concern.  Thomas Metzinger’s talk, though contains some new slides, was very familiar to me as I have watched its earlier video version over and over again.  Zoltan Dienes theory of hypnosis though was not very convincing or agreeable, was very interesting as we will see in a later blog.

Sisir Roy’s presentation included a slide on one audio-visual illusion first reported by two psychologists in 1975 which was so far did not become theorists’ first choice of illustration unlike optical illusions and co. was the same example I used in my last presentation at IITB in Spring 2006.  (Sisir Roy’s that particular slide was a surprise knock for me as I thought no one was talking seriously about this illusion these days.  Anyway, I don’t’ agree with the explanation he gave at the question answer session that the subject in the video is making all three sounds “Ba”, “Ga” and “Da”.  In fact, the subject is making only one sound “Ba”. It is a mix up of audio clip “Ba” and video clip “Ga”.  That’s why when you close your eyes you hear only the sound “Ba”.  But when you see the video if you are an adult exposed to these sounds,  you will hear perhaps the sounds “Ga”, “Da” and “Ba”.  Just to tell you, I have taken some steps to test this phenomenon in Indian languages.)

In the same vein, change-blindness discussed by  Narayanan Srinivasanwas was one of the theme of my first presentation at IITB in 2005 Autumn. And Rajesh Kasturirangan’s theory bears the same name of my working thesis, viz. “Derivational theory”.   And there were many other illustrations similar to the examples I used in my presentations.  Further, a few time during the workshop the same examples were shown by different speakers.  Just coincidences!! Or is it the case that people working in this area think on the same line, find similar examples as telling the point?  Whatever the case is, the research output of the interdisciplinary area of mind/brain studies is equally intelligible to a philosopher or mathematician as it is to a neurobiologist.

That much for intro.  The coming blog is on Semir Zeki’s talk.

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