Perception, Imagination, and the Nature of Experience

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Humanities

Abstract

I will investigate the nature of perception and perceptual experience. The research focuses around two main questions. First, whether perceptual experiences, involved in seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting the world, can be affected by cognitive states such as beliefs, desires and expectations. This question is whether 'cognitive penetration' can occur and if it occurs I will examine in what conditions it does so.

An alleged example of cognitive penetration is reported by psychologists Plant and Peruche (2005). They discovered that, in a computer simulation, police were more likely to judge that an object in a suspect's hand was a gun (and subsequently shoot) if the suspect was black. If the police shoot because their beliefs change the way the object looks to them - that is, change their perceptual experience - then this would be a case of cognitive penetration. Although when they received training the police could overcome this bias, they couldn't do so immediately. They couldn't stop their beliefs affecting their experience. But beliefs and desires clearly don't always have an effect on experience and sometimes it seems they cannot. Consider that, no matter how much I desire my motorway service station food to be a gourmet meal, it does not taste like one.

The existence of cognitive penetration is highly disputed. My distinctive and original contribution will be to argue that cognitive penetration can take place, however, I will claim that one needs more substantial argument to show this than is usually given.

The second question is: What is the nature of perceptual experience, such that it can be so influenced by beliefs, desires and expectations? I will explore mechanisms by which cognition may affect experience. I will argue that one mechanism that can explain many cases of cognitive penetration involves perceptual imagination affecting perceptual experience. I will also argue that imagination's influence on experience can account for many features of perceptual experience that have resisted explanation, in particular, types of experience of absence.

The existence of cognitive penetration has implications for whether perceptual experience can give us knowledge. A mainstream view of experience is that it is an independent arbiter of the truth. If you believe some empirical proposition to be true and I believe it to be false then we can (often) look and see who is right. But the existence of cognitive penetration raises the spectre that we may have different experiences of the world depending on what beliefs we already hold. Thus, our experiences are not independent from our existing beliefs. I will call attention to these epistemological issues.

I will also highlight the moral and social concerns that arise from the existence of cognitive penetration. Studies, such as that of Plant and Peruche (2005) discussed above, raise questions as to whether people can be blamed for their actions in certain circumstances if their very experience of the world is skewed by their beliefs. For if their experience confirms their skewed beliefs then it looks as if subjects are stuck in a circle of bigotry. This raises issues of social policy such as should we screen police officers and other public officials for prejudice? And should they undergo training to mitigate the effects of potential bias?
In short, my research will cast light on the nature of perceptual experience and how it is influenced by our cognitive system. Insight will be gained about the nature of the representational and conscious aspects of experience. And the implications of the existence of cognitive penetration will be made vivid.

Planned Impact

The wide range of non-academic beneficiaries are listed below together with details of how they might benefit.

(i) Medical practitioners (psychiatrists and clinical psychologists) who treat patients who suffer from hallucinations and the patients themselves.

My work on the interaction between perceptual experience and imagination will clarify the nature of both. Hallucination is a form of perceptual experience and one important theory of hallucination is that it involves mistaking perceptual imagination for perceptual experience. Thus, my work should shed light on this theory of hallucination. In addition, other theories of hallucination may be made more or less plausible by my findings. Finding out about the nature of hallucination may lead medics to find better treatment for those suffering from hallucination resulting, for example, from Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, or brain damage.

(ii) Artists

The purpose of the vast majority of art works, regardless of the medium, is to produce perceptual experiences in people. My work entails that when you have a perceptual experience, the nature of that experience may be affected by the beliefs and desires that you hold. This information is of relevance to artists whose aim is to produce works that are to be perceived. They might consider more than they do at present the mental lives of the audience who perceive their work, or what their audience have seen before, or the order in which they have seen things if they are trying to create a specific reaction in people. Alternatively, they may adopt the methodology of trying to produce pieces that may affect people very differently depending on the different beliefs and desires that they have. My work may help them determine the situations in which people's existing mental lives are more likely to affect the perceptual experience that they have of an artwork.

(iii) Policy makers and law makers.

My work will attempt to show that what people perceive depends on their prior beliefs and desires. This raises questions as to whether people can be blamed for their actions in certain circumstances if their very experience of the world is skewed by their beliefs. For if their experience confirms their skewed beliefs then it looks as if subjects are stuck in a circle of bigotry. This raises issues of social policy, such as, should we screen police officers and other public officials for prejudice? And should they undergo training to mitigate the effects of potential bias (for it seems as if certain sorts of training are able to mitigate the effects of bias)? And should we place as much weight on eye-witness testimony as we do now, or in what situations should we be wary of doing so?

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description I examined the nature of perception. In particular, I examined what one would need to establish in order to show that cognitive penetration occurs. Cognitive penetration occurs when one's cognitive states, such as one's beliefs or desires, affect (in specific ways that I make more precise) one's perception and/or perceptual experience. I outline the challenges to showing that this takes place. I give details of the most convincing empirical case, and I argue that a mechanism for cognitive penetration exists consisting of imagination affecting perceptual experience. I also examine the relationship between cognitive penetration and two theses about perception, namely (1) that perceptual experience has nonconceptual as opposed to conceptual content and (2) that predictive coding is the correct account of perception. In each case I show that the answer is not straightforward and depends on the exact forms of those theses and on the exact form of cognitive penetration.
Exploitation Route My work has been highly cited by philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists and much debated. This debate is ongoing and I have spoken at many conferences on this topic. My work has been responded to in print by many people. I have written and commented on psychologists' and neuroscientists' subsequent work on cognitive penetration drawing on my own findings.
Sectors Other

URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/staff/fionamacpherson/#/%0A%0Aresearchandonlinepapers%0A%0A
 
Description I have given numerous interdisciplinary talks to scientists about the nature of experience. I have talked to them about potential experiments that they could carryout which would help to settle theoretical and practical questions. I organised a conference on sensory substitution and augmentation that included a public engagement day where the devices scientists have made and developed could be tried out by the public and people with disabilities. I run a website on visual and auditory illusions that gets around 280 hits a month. I run a FaceBook page for the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, that I direct, that informs that public and the work of the Centre and about perception more generally. We have over 1580 'likes'.In Septemebr 2017 the illusion page was replaced by the far more substantial "Illusions Index" detailed elsewhere on this return. I have given numerous public lectures about my work to artists, academics and the general public. Moreover, I have organised many research stations at public science festivals and similar events to bring perceptual phenomenal and our research to the attention of the public. I appeared on the PhilosophyBites podcast talking about hallucination. The podcast has been downloaded over 60,000 times. I have carried out numerous reviews of people, grants, departments, and so on. Notable, I have been appointed a trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust and a Council Member of the AHRC.
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description AHRC Council Member
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Council members are appointed by the Minister for Universities and Science and are responsible for the overall strategic direction of the AHRC including its key objectives and targets, and key decisions about the research direction of the AHRC.
URL http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/News/Pages/New-appointments-to-Arts-and-Humanities-Research-Co...
 
Description British Philosophy Postgradaute Conference, Training and Reserach
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact I mentored Postgraduate students to apply to run the annual British Postgraduate Philosophy Conference, which includes training and research. I carried out mock job interviews, gave a talk 'Academic Publishing in Philosophy', and supervised the students in carrying out research on the qualifications of philosophers when they were hired for different types of jobs: temporary lecturers, postdocs, permanent jobs etc.
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/events/archive/bppaconferen...
 
Description Conversations in Mind/Brain/Behaviour, Harvard
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact I was a speaker at Conversations in Mind/Brain/Behaviour, interfaculty event, Harvard University, debating with Professor Robert Stickgold (Harvard). the aim was to show how interdisciplinary research in Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience can be done.
URL http://mbb.harvard.edu/event/conversations-mindbrainbehavior
 
Description DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) 2016
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Referee for DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) 2016
 
Description European Society for Analytic Philosophy
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Member of the Steering Committee of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy. In order to further contacts and collaboration amongst European analytic philosophers, the Society intends: To organize European Congresses of Analytic Philosophy (ECAP) on regular basis. Such congresses will allow European analytic philosophers, whatever their areas of interest (philosophy of language, ethics, epistemology, metaphyics, philosophy of mind, etc.), to meet and come to know each other. to issue a newsletter and other publications of general interest (a directory of the European analytic philosophers and a booklet containing information about istitutional aspects of philosophy in different European countries are planned). to facilitate the organization of European conferences and workshops on specific subjects within analytic philosophy.
URL http://www.esap.info
 
Description External consultant for a Professorial Position (W3), Ludwig-Maximillians University
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
 
Description Kennedy Memorial Trust Trustee
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact I am a Trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust. The Kennedy Memorial Trust was established in 1964 to administer money raised in the UK as a tribute to the late President John Kennedy. Part of the fund was used to create and maintain the Kennedy Memorial site at Runnymede, Surrey. The remaining money is used to provide Kennedy Scholarships, which enable British post-graduate students to study at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Trustees are responsible for the selection process for those scholarships and for managing the maintenance of the Kennedy Memorial in Runnymede. See also: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/kennedy-memorial-trust-appointments--2
URL http://www.kennedytrust.org.uk
 
Description Member of the Mind Association Executive Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact The Mind Association supports and promotes research excellence in philosophy. It is responsible for the management and financial support of the quarterly journal, Mind. For a statement of the journal's review practices see MIND Review Practices The Association also supports philosophical research in two main other ways: by offering conference grants to help fund high quality, open conferences and workshops in any area of philosophy; and by funding research fellowships. From 2010 the fellowships offered comprise: up to three six-month research fellowships; and a 12-month fellowship, the Mind Senior Research Fellowship. In the academic year following the tenure of their fellowship, the Mind Senior Fellow gives a public lecture hosted by their home institution.
URL http://www.mindassociation.org
 
Description Philosophy Department, University of Auckland
Geographic Reach Australia 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Invited external overseas reviewer of the Philosophy Department, University of Auckland, September 2014. Various recommendations about the Department and the University were made.
 
Description Reviewer for the Volkswagen Foundation
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Invited reviewer for the Volkswagen Foundation's funding initiative "European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences, and the Humanities", Hannover, Germany, October 2014. Read grant proposals and interview grant applicants and made recommendations to the board of trustees about who they should and should not fund.
URL http://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/en/funding.html
 
Description Society for Philosophy and Psychology
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Reviewer for the 2016 Society for Philosophy and Psychology Conference
URL http://www.socphilpsych.org/
 
Description AHRC Development Grant
Amount £80,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description AHRC Large Grant in Science in Culture
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 12/2016
 
Description British Academy Conference Grant
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Organisation The British Academy 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 04/2013
 
Description Durham Emergence Project: Fellowship Programme
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation The John Templeton Foundation 
Sector Academic/University
Country United States
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2015
 
Description Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagment
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/R004684/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Grant
Amount £19,986 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 03/2017
 
Description Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Grant for Derek Brown
Amount £2,850 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 12/2012
 
Description University of Cambridge's New Directions in the Study of the Mind Project via the John Templeton Foundation
Amount £6,670 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department New Directions in the Study of the Mind Project
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 06/2017
 
Description University of Cambridge's New Directions in the Study of the Mind Project via the John Templeton Foundation
Amount £9,824 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department New Directions in the Study of the Mind Project
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 08/2017
 
Description University of Cambridge's New Directions in the Study of the Mind Project via the John Templeton Foundation
Amount £58,610 (GBP)
Organisation The John Templeton Foundation 
Sector Academic/University
Country United States
Start 07/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description University of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund
Amount £15,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 03/2017
 
Description Visiting Professorship (London)
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 05/2013
 
Description Bergen Project Development Consortium on Philosophy, Neuroscience and Ethics 
Organisation University of Bergen
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution International consultant and collaborator on the Research Council of Norway funded Bergen Project Development Consortium on Philosophy, Neuroscience and Ethics
Collaborator Contribution Organised and ran the project and associated activities.
Impact the workshops influenced my written research.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Centre for the Study of the Senses (CenSes) 
Organisation University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses
Collaborator Contribution Co-directors, award holders and researchers
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving philosophy, psychology and neuroscience. We have influenced each other's research, held numerous joint seminars, workshops and conferences and public engagement activities.
Start Year 2009
 
Description EXRE: Centre for Research on Mind and Normativity 
Organisation University of Fribourg
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Held joint workshops and seminars together
Collaborator Contribution Held joint workshops and seminars together
Impact We have produced conference papers and influenced each others' written research
Start Year 2008
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation Concordia University
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation Sorbonne University
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation University of Copenhagen
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description International Leverhulme Network: Evaluating Methods of Aesthetic Enquiry across Disciplines 
Organisation University of Vienna
Country Austria 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I'm an associate researcher who will attend two workshops.
Collaborator Contribution The network is run by Professor Dee Reynolds at the University of Manchester. The network involves many researchers from around the world who will meet at various workshops.
Impact Disciplines involved: Philosophy, Psychology, French, Anthropology, Art History, Neuroscience
Start Year 2015
 
Description Nature of Taste Project 
Organisation New York University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Attended and presented work at workshops in Abu Dhabi and one in Paris.
Collaborator Contribution Attended and presented work at workshops in Abu Dhabi and one in Paris.
Impact Input into written research.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Network for Sensory Reserach 
Organisation Harvard University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Collaborator Contribution They attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. They organised workshops and conferences. They had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Impact We influenced each other's research, and attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Network for Sensory Reserach 
Organisation Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Collaborator Contribution They attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. They organised workshops and conferences. They had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Impact We influenced each other's research, and attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Network for Sensory Reserach 
Organisation University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Collaborator Contribution They attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. They organised workshops and conferences. They had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Impact We influenced each other's research, and attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Network for Sensory Reserach 
Organisation University of Toronto
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Collaborator Contribution They attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. They organised workshops and conferences. They had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Impact We influenced each other's research, and attended and presented research at workshops and conferences. We organised workshops and conferences. We had graduate exchanges and mentored graduate students.
Start Year 2011
 
Description The Complexity of Perception: A Multidimensional Approach 
Organisation University of Barcelona
Department Faculty of Philosophy
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Partnership has just begun.
Collaborator Contribution Partnership has just begun.
Impact Partnership has just begun.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Thought and Sense: On the Interface between Perception and Cognition 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Department of Philosophy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Discussion of our research, attendance at a conference by one of my postdocs, future joint conferences are planned.
Collaborator Contribution Discussion of our research, attendance at a conference by one of my postdocs, future joint conferences are planned.
Impact Discussion of our research, attendance at a conference by one of my postdocs, future joint conferences are planned.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Visiting Professor University of Kentucky 
Organisation University of Kentucky
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I visited to work with Dr Clare Batty in Philosophy. We discussed a new paper that we may write together. I taught some graduate classes and supervised graduate students.
Collaborator Contribution As above.
Impact On-going research for a follow-up paper to our: Macpherson, F. and Batty, C. (2016) 'Redefining Illusion and Hallucination in the Light of New Cases', Philosophical Issues, 26: 263 - 296.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Visiting Professor, University of London 
Organisation University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Visiting Professor, Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Carried out research, participated in Institute events and gave a talk.
Collaborator Contribution Hosted my visit.
Impact Research papers were written. Details reported elsewhere.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Visiting Professor, University of Trnava, Slovakia 
Organisation University of Tuzla
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I was a Visiting Professor for one week and I taught eighteen hours of classes on my research to staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students in philosophy and psychology.
Collaborator Contribution They discussed my work with me.
Impact I had useful discussions of my research with staff and students.
Start Year 2015
 
Description "Explorathon '15" the European Researcher's night 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We ran two hands-on research stations, one on the ReThinking the Senses Project and on the Value of Suffering Project at the Glasgow Science Centre from 6 - 11pm. We had over 300 visitors to the stations. We presented a variety of perceptual and pain illusions and other effects including: a thermal grill that produces pain illusions, Patrick Hughes Reverspectives, demonstration of olfactory component in taste, demonstration of nice and nasty flavours, various motion illusions including the motion after-effect, a mirascope, a hyperscope, 2-D and 3-D impossible figures, the McGurk effect.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/outreach/explorathon-2015/
 
Description An Image of Sound 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was interviewed by producer Andrew Dawes for a BBC Radio 4 programme 'An Image of Sound' broadcast on 7 February 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b051w066
 
Description Beer: History, Philosophy, Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Co-organised the "Beer: History, Philosophy, Science" workshop and tasting that was open to the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/outreach/beer-history-philo...
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I ran a research stall part of Cheltenham's Fesitval's Discover Zone, welcoming over 9,500 members of the public, including 6,500 pupils and teachers from 95 local schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/engagement/cheltenham-fest...
 
Description Co-Host of CBC's Spark 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was co-host of CBC's "Spark" programme about "Rewiring our Senses" (Programme No. 268) first broadcast December 7, 2014.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.cbc.ca/spark/episodes/2014/12/07/spark-268
 
Description Colour Public Lecture June 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'The Philosophy and Psychology of Colour' public lecture at the Glasgow Science Festival. (150 attendees)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/outreach/glasgow-science-fe...
 
Description Creative Dining, Cooking and Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Workshop on 'Creative Dining, Cooking and Technology', organised by UCLIC, UCL, held at John Salt Restaurant, Islington. Attendees included academics, chefs, and food artists/event creators. Website, discussion pieces, and videos created.

Website, discussion pieces, and videos.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://foodthoughtfood.wordpress.com/
 
Description Der Tagesspiegel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel (02/10/2013) has an article on Fiona Macpherson's and Dimitris Platchias' Hallucination volume.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/was-wissen-schafft-die-welt-in-uns/8875054.html
 
Description Explorathon 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I supervised Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience Postdocs Keith Wilson and Jennifer Corns in showcasing the CSPE's research at the 'Explorathon' European researchers night at the Glasgow Science Centre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.thesenses.ac.uk/events/event/explorathon
 
Description Explorathon 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I and other Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience researchers contributed to Explorathon 2016 running a research stall on perception at Explorathon 2016 in the Glasgow Science Centre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/outreach/explorathon-2016/
 
Description Facebook and Twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I run a lively Facebook page for the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, posting news of our activities and news items about perception. As of March 2016 we have 1,585 'likes', and our weekly 'reach' is about 1,600 too. From 2015 we linked the Facebook page to a Twitter account, that now also posts the same items.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017
URL http://www.facebook.com/Perceptual.Experience/
 
Description Glasgow Science Centre Mind Matters 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Glasgow Science Centre plans to turn its temporary exhibition 'Mind Matters' which is about perceptual illusions into a permanent exhibition. I, and a postdoc of mine, are providing some consultancy on the exhibition, and myself and the Glasgow Science Centre have applied together for an AHRC collaborative PhD doctoral award to fund a student who will build on these interactions.

N/A yet
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Glasgow Science Festival 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Organised the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience's contribution to a public engagement event that took place on 6 & 7 June 2015 in the Kelvingrove Museum as part of the Glasgow Science Festival. We had stalls presenting a large number of visual, touch, taste and smell illusions and effects, including Patrick Hughes Reverspectives, the rubber hand illusion, ambiguous smells, testing for supertasters, demonstration of olfactory component in taste, motion illusions, a mirascope, a hyperscope, after-images in different eyes, and so on. We carried out an experiment on the public testing their description of the waterfall illusion. The stalls were manned by ourselves and by various other post-docs and PhD students. Members of the roject also gave talks as part of the festival: Charles Spence on 'The Perfect Meal' and Michael Brady on 'The Value of Suffering' (120 people attended each) on 7 June 2015, and myself and Colin Blakemore on 'Vision, Perception, and Illusion', on 8 June 2015 (240 people attended). After my talk I ran an experiment on the audience investigating their experience of the Waterfall Illusion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/news-and-events/archive/hea...
 
Description Glasgow Science Festival 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Organised the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience's contribution to the Glasgow Science Festival, consisting of a research stall in the Kelvingrove Museum for two days. We presented a large number of visual, auditory, and, taste illusions and effects. The stalls were manned by myself and other members of the CSPE. Members of the CSPE also gave talks as part of the festival: Myself and David Simmons on the Philosophy and Psychology of Colour (over 150 registered participants), and David Bain on Pains that are Not Unpleasant (over 100 registered participants).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/outreach/glasgow-science-fe...
 
Description How Many Colours Are in the Rainbow? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Audience of about 50 at my talk.

Many students at a summer school at which the public lecture was delivered spoke to me and e-mailed me about my work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Impossible Lego Object Exhibit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Organised the 'Impossible Lego Object' exhibit, one item in the Objects of Research exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/news/archives/2015/june/headline_409824_en.html
 
Description Individuating the Senses Kent Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Gave a talk "Individuating the Senses" at the The Human Senses: Inspire Gatherings, School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, a public seminar series run by art school students.

Discussion of the senses across disciplines and in the arts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://inspiregatherings.wix.com/senses
 
Description Interviewed by Harry Pettit for an article entitled, "Can you HEAR this silent GIF? Mind-bending audio illusion tricks your brain into thinking you hear a sound while watching a noiseless animation", for the Mail Online, published 4 December 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Harry Pettit for an article entitled, "Can you HEAR this silent GIF? Mind-bending audio illusion tricks your brain into thinking you hear a sound while watching a noiseless animation", for the Mail Online, published 4 December 2017. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5143355/Silent-animation-hear-baffles-internet-users.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5143355/Silent-animation-hear-baffles-internet-users....
 
Description Interviewed by Jeff Gailus for piece entitled "We Should Count Balance As One of the Senses" for Nautilus science magazine, published on 3 March 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Jeff Gailus for piece entitled "We Should Count Balance As One of the Senses" for Nautilus science magazine, published on 3 March 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://nautil.us/blog/we-should-count-balance-as-one-of-the-senses
 
Description Interviewed by Nicola Twilley for an article on "Seeing with Your Tongue", for The New Yorker, published 15 May 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Nicola Twilley for an article on "Seeing with Your Tongue", for The New Yorker, published 15 May 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/15/seeing-with-your-tongue
 
Description Keynote lecture at the Hutchesons' Annual Approaching Philosophy Conference for school children 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 'Illusion and Perception', keynote lecture at the Hutchesons' Annual Approaching Philosophy Conference for school children plus discussion afterwards. Over 140 pupils and 18 teachers from around Scotland attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.hutchesons.org/news/2407_hutchesons-philosophy-conference-2015
 
Description Moving Water 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Took part in "Moving Water", an art participation project by Sensory Sites and collaborators at the October Gallery, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.thesenses.ac.uk/events/event/moving-water
 
Description PhilonoUS 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Interviewed by Emma Shephard for PhilonoUS, the University of Sheffield Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy, Spring 2016 edition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Philosophical Views of Hallucination and Perception 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'Philosophical Views of Hallucination and Perception', public lecture at the Out of Our Heads art exhibition on hallucination at Shoreditch Town Hall, London

Discussion with the public, artists, philoophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://oooheads.org/
 
Description Philosophy of Hallucination and Perception Glasgow Masterclass 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presented 'Philosophy of Hallucination and Perception', public lecture with over 100 registered participants, lunchtime master class series, Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow.

Discussion afterwards and by e-mail with participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/staff/news/headline_363916_en.html
 
Description PhilosophyBites Hallucination podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Recorded podcast.

Approximately 60,000 downloads to date.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://philosophybites.com/2013/03/fiona-macpherson-on-hallucination.html
 
Description Poetry Reading by Dr Nuala Watt 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Co-organised a lecture and poetry reading by Dr Nuala Watt at the University of Glasgow for the public as part of the Understanding the Senses: Past and Present project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006
 
Description Public lecture at the Glasgow Science Cafe 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'The Waterfall Illusion', public lecture at the Glasgow Science Cafe, Research Club, Ashton Lane, Glasgow, followed by an experiment to test their reaction to the illusion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.facebook.com/researchclubglasgow/posts/732045453579581
 
Description Public lecture at the Glasgow Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 'Vision, Perception and Illusion', public lecture at the Glasgow Science Festival, 8 June 2015. 240 registered participants attended. After my talk I ran an experiment on the audience investigating their experience of the Waterfall Illusion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/events/sciencefestival/events/adult/headline_325538_en.html
 
Description Research stall at a Glasgow Science Centre Lates Event, Glasgow Science Centre. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Glasgow Science Centre Lates, 5 May 2017

Once a month, the Glasgow Science Centre hosts an exciting series of adult-only late-night science events. In May, 2017 the evening focused on Sensation and researchers from the CSPE were invited to host an interactive stall to engage and trick the senses of the public.

CSPE Co-ordinator: Dr Jennifer Corns and Professor Fiona Macpherson
CSPE Researchers: Dr. Derek Brown, Abraham Sapién Córdoba, Professor Fiona Macpherson, Dr. Neil McDonnell
Interactive exhibits

Items on display included:

'Reverspective' 3D images with apparently move in unusual ways relative to observers
'Mirascope' 3D optical illusion of an object
'Hyperscope' that increases 3D depth perception
McGurk effect audiovisual illusion
Hollow mask illusion
Animated transparencies causing motion illusions
Spinning motion aftereffect disc
Ambiguous sweets that are both nice and nasty
Jelly beans that you taste with your nose
Nice and nasty sweets
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/engagement/science-centre-...
 
Description Research stall at the Glasgow Science Festival, Kelvin Gallery, Huntarian Museum, Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Interactive exhibits - Items on display that the team demonstrated and discussed with people included:

'Reverspective' 3D images with apparently move in unusual ways relative to observers
'Mirascope' 3D optical illusion of an object
'Hyperscope' that increases 3D depth perception
McGurk effect audiovisual illusion
Hollow mask illusion
Animated transparencies causing motion illusions
Spinning motion aftereffect disc
Ambiguous sweets that are both nice and nasty
Jelly beans that you taste with your nose
Nice and nasty sweets
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Sensory Substitution and Augmentation Conference and Public Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I ran a conference on Sensory Substitution and Augmentation at the British Academy for philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists. As part of this I ran an afternoon and early evening event for the public and for those with disabliities where there were hands-on demonstrations of sensory substitution and augmentation devices. This was the frist time ever that all these devices were gathered together in the same place. Devices that were demonstrated were:

Amir Amedi (Medical Neurobiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
- EyeMusic and EyeCane (Virtual Cane)

Jon Bird (HCI, University College London)
- minimal TVSS: Tactile Vision Sensory Substitution

Giles Hamilton Fletcher (Psychology, University of Sussex)
- Creole (Auditory-Colour Substitution)

Maria Karam (TAD Inc.)
- TAD: Tactile Audio Displays

Peter Konig (Neurobiology, Osnabruck University)
- feelSpace (Magnetic Perception)

Michael J Proulx (Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol)
- vOICe (Audio-Visual Substitution)

Maurice Ptito (Neuroscience, University of Montreal) and Ron Kupers (Copenhagen)
- TDU: Tongue Display Unit

Laurent Renier (Experimental Psychology, Catholic University of Louvain)
- PSVA: Prosthesis for Substitution of Vision by Audition

People enjoyed the day very much. We made a video of the day and a website that linked to information about the various devices. We also recorded the talks and put them online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/events/archive/sensorysubst...
 
Description Special Collections event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Co-organised an event in Special Collections in the University of Glasgow Library for the public as part of the Understanding the Senses: Past and Present project. It consisted of a room displaying visual, audio and cross-modal illusions, illustrating the work of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience and a display of some of the library's collection of manuscripts and early printed books relating to the history of the senses together with a presentation on the material by Lynn Verschuren.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/outreach/understanding-the-...
 
Description Talk to Eye Surgeons at King's College Hospital, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 'Philosophy of Hallucination and Perception, talk to Eye Surgeons at King's College Hospital, London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description The Future of Dining Practices 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Wrote a paper for the website on the future of dining practices.

Reported discussion by peers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://foodthoughtfood.wordpress.com/reflections/fiona-macpherson/
 
Description The Hidden Senses 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helped to run "The Hidden Senses: the secrets of taste and smell" a day of talks, activities, experiments, demonstrations, and exhibitions for the public to challenge their understanding of the senses of taste and smell, involving philosophers, psychologists, perfumiers, neuroscientists, artists, chefs, and technologists at the Dana Centre, Science Museum, London. The event showcased the work of the Rethinking the Senses project and was part of the national AHRC Being Human Festival of the Humanities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.thesenses.ac.uk/events/event/the-hidden-senses-the-secrets-of-taste-and-smell
 
Description The Illusions Index 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Illusions Index is a fully searchable, interactive curated collection of illusions. The illusions are categorised into different types, allowing you to search for, and compare, illusions that fall under one or more type. Staff and students at the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience have researched each illusion to provide detailed information about what it teaches us about the philosophy and psychology of perception.

The Illusions Index is an open-access resource, intended for use both by the general public and by researchers in the philosophy and psychology of perception, and beyond. The pages for each illusion are stable URLs, so researchers can easily cite illusions in scholarly work by referring to those URLs. The Index is funded by the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, the School of Humanities, and the College of Arts at the University of Glasgow, and by donations from you. All we ask is that you cite the articles in The Illusions Index using the author and citation information indicated beside each article, and conform to the Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC_SA 4.0).

The Illusions Index was conceived of by Professor Fiona Macpherson, and designed and developed together with Dr Keith Wilson and Mucky Puddle.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.illusionsindex.org
 
Description Timandra Harkeness interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Timandra Harkeness for a Blakeway Production programme for Radio 4 on sensory substitution and augmentation, to be broadcast in 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Website and Social Media 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I run an illusions website that receives around 300 hits per month.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/humanities/research/philosophyresearch/cspe/illusions/
 
Description Why We Should Count Balance As One of the Senses 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviewed by Jeff Gailus for an article on "Why We Should Count Balance As One of the Senses" for Nautilus science magazine, published 3 March 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://nautil.us/blog/we-should-count-balance-as-one-of-the-senses