Perception is a third-year elective course in the Psychology Bachelor’s programme of the University of Groningen, which I co-organise with Elkan Akyürek. Its objectives are to provide insight into the human ability to perceive the environment, by reviewing psychonomic research on sensation and perception, and to discuss the latest developments in the fields of auditory and visual perception.
The Illusion Club
It is tempting to think that the world is the way we perceive it to be, but it is not so. Reality is filtered through our senses and what we understand as reality is in fact merely our interpretation of those filtered sensations. Our perception is not reality, but for all practical purposes, it’s a good enough approximation. This simple concept is easier to understand when we trick our senses to perceive the world in a way that we know is incorrect. This is the world of illusions and it is a world of riches; emotional, intellectual, and other.
Each year, as a not-for-course-credit exercise in understanding perception and in creating something interesting and fun, Perception students can volunteer to take part in what we call The Illusion Club. Students meet with each other and with the instructors on a regular basis to discuss different types of illusions and create new examples, in the process gaining insight on the functional mechanisms that make our perceptual system tick. At the end of course, the students present their work to other students and faculty members from Psychology and other departments.
In 2012/2013, the Illusion Club put together a one-day exhibition of illusions, open to the public and everyone at the University. The event was covered by the University Newspaper and written about in the Newsletter of the BCN. You can see photos from the event in the gallery below.