It is known that our brain is one of the most important parts of our body. This organ control most of the actions we usually do and repeat day by day. The brain can control even no-voluntary actions.
But what about perception? Also, our brain can interpret the things we see, taste, smell or even touch. But, all of them are real? I mean, does our brain interpret the real perception of reality or what we want to sense, however? That question was asked to our 4º ESO graders: Is our brain tricking us and show us what we want to perceive?
A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated in the school the Brain awareness week (#BAW2019). During this week, our students enjoyed neuroscience workshops related to visual perception, smell and taste perception, and optical illusions. Those workshops are linked with Phenomena Based Learning, as a part of the children way of learning. You can find more about in this blog because Töölö Primary School mentioned it in its Science Fair post. For that reason, we replicated it at Colegio Santisima Trinidad.
Do I notice colors, as my partners do?
For this workshop, the students faced tests related to visual perception. The principal aim was to try to figure out If you can perceive the color as the other children do. It was truly striking when children realized that color perception was a subjective matter. It is much more linked to our brain interpretation of the color than the real perception. Also, the guys did Daltonism test, in order to discover if there were daltonism people int the class.
Does it smell well? Can I taste flavors without my smell?
The second workshop was about smell and flavors. All of us are able to notice all the flavors and smells in the world? and in daily life things?. These were the target of the workshop. One more time, the students were able to appreciate that each of us has our unique way to interpret the flavors and smells we notice.
I am sure that most of you have ever faced a picture or a photo in which you hesitate if the image is real or not. The aim of this workshop was to make students face to optical illusions. For instance, look at the first image below, are there real objects in it?
As you can imagine, the objects are not real, but our brain tricks us. That trick is in fact, a matter of interpretation: our brain has the ability to create the story about a thing – in this case, the photo- and decide if it is real or not. Let’s try the next one, what is the real color of one of the most popular dresses in the world?
It is one of the most popular optical illusions. This is the evidence that color perception depends on many factors such as the amount of light of the picture. Because of the luminosity of the image, there are people who perceive the color fo the dress in a way and there are others who do it in a totally different way.
So, for that reason, the children faced many photographs in which they tried to decide if the object in it were real or not. The realized that most of the time, our brain create a story that can be real or not, depending on many factors.
All these workshops were arranged by Colegio Santisma Trinidad and Institute of Neuroscience of Castille and Leon –University of Salamanca-, which is located in Salamanca. We spent a whole afternoon with researchers from this institute, who guided and showed the children all that our brain can do.
And you….have you ever tested your brain?