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Can we ever ‘get real’ ask Sussex scientists

Sussex researchers will be challenging Brighton Science Festival goers this weekend on their perceptions of reality.

Experts from the University’s Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science will be among those giving short talks on Sunday (26 February) at Brighton’s Sallis Benney Theatre to try to explain some of the most baffling aspects of our inner worlds.

The event, ‘It’s make your mind up time’ includes: 

  • Dr Anil Seth, Reader in Informatics and Director of the Sackler Centre, showing how our conscious self is just another fiction of the brain
  • Psychologist Professor Andy Field asking if we’re really able to tell the difference between ‘fear’ and  a neuron firing in our brain
  • Dr Sam Hutton, Visiting Senior  Lecturer in Psychology, demonstrating that what we ‘see’ depends as much on what’s going on inside our head as outside
  • Dr Nijhawan, Reader in Psychology, explaining the ‘flash-lag effect’ of predicting what we think will happen (and then why we’re surprised when it doesn’t happen).

Dr Seth says: "We want to show how the new science of consciousness touches all of us as we go about our daily lives.  Those who come along will discover how the world, and even our sense of self within it, are wonderful fictions of the brain - elaborate fantasies that coincide with reality.”

Notes for editors:

It’s Make Your Mind up Time is on, Sunday February 26 10am–5pm, Sallis Benney Theatre, 58-67 Grand Parade, BN2 0JY Ages 16+  Tickets 10/£6. online or on the door.

Press office:  Jacqui Bealing and Maggie Clune, 01273 678888,

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Thursday, 23 February 2012