Segments in this Video

Does Perception Reveal Reality? (02:07)


Might perception and experience be more of a creative response to the world rather than an accurate one? Or, do our senses provide a direct link? Panelist members are introduced.

The Pitch: Berit Brogaard (01:20)

Brogaard states that we cannot know what reality is really like through perception. She explores the differences in cone types between humans and nonhuman animals and concludes that there is not one objective perceived reality

The Pitch: Karl Friston (02:39)

The brain is a creative organ; it makes inferences, finding precise beliefs that provide the best explanation for sensory data. The product of accuracy and simplicity is evidence. Fantasy becomes a hypothesis when it is coupled with evidence.

The Pitch: Hilary Lawson (03:06)

We don't have any direct access to reality because we close the openness to the world. The nature of closure is the holding of that which is different. The firing of a neuron is a reaction to the world rather than a description of it.

Theme One: Is There a Reality Independent of Our Experience of It? (20:28)

Brogaard explains that physics and mathematics borrow metaphors from our perceptual system and thus are inaccurate hypotheses of reality. Lawson and Friston refute this point of view and explain that the exploration of closures and metaphors lend themselves to a variety of perceptions of reality.

Theme Two: Does Perception Reveal Reality, or Create Our Own? (09:16)

Predictions of reality rest upon the evidence for a hypothesis and hypothesis selection. Lawson uses an analogy to explain how people mistakenly assume that what they see is what is actually there.

Theme Three: Can Perception Ever Give Us Access to an Independent Reality? (11:40)

Lawson and Friston discuss hypothesis development and closure. Brogaard explores the impact of psychedelic drugs on the perception of reality.

Credits: Down the Rabbit Hole (00:21)

Credits: Down the Rabbit Hole

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or


Seeing is believing. Yet, optical illusions and acid trips make it clear that what we see is a function of what we think and believe. Might perception and experience be a creative response to the world enabling us to live in a strange and unknowable world? Or do they provide a direct link to reality? The panel: Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami Berit Brogaard, neuroscientist at UCL Karl Friston, philosopher and award-winning broadcaster Hillary Lawson, and director and presenter of BBC and Channel 4 documentaries David Malone discuss how what we perceive corresponds to reality.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL145273

ISBN: 978-1-64198-972-5

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.