Alien Vision Revolution

Mark Changizi

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why do humans see in color? Why do we have eyes on the front of our heads, like cats, rather than on the sides, like horses? And how is it that we find it so easy to read when written language did not exist until a few thousand years ago—a virtual millisecond in evolutionary time? These are just a few of the riddles theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi explores in his talk on Alien Vision Revolution. Searching for the design principles behind color vision, binocularity, motion, and object recognition, Changizi suggests what they say about human nature and the circumstances in which it was formed. He also uses those principles to extrapolate how extraterrestrial beings would be likely to see—probably the same sorts of writing but not the same colors, and not with eyes that face forward.

Johannes Goebel

Mark Changizi holds a degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in math from University of Maryland for a PhD. In 2002 he won a prestigious Sloan-Swartz Fellowship in Theoretical Neurobiology at Caltech, and since 2007 he has been an assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the author of the The Vision Revolution and The Brain From 25,000 Feet.

Alien Vision Revolution
April 21, 2010, 7PM

“His ideas about the brain and mind are fascinating.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Changizi's theories are appealing and logical... ...will make you wonder the next time you notice someone blush”
Scientific American Mind