Dreamachine – The Perception Census

Published: 15 July 2022

The UofG Community are invited to take part in largest ever scientific study into perception

The academic and artistic team behind the immersive art experience Dreamachine have launched The Perception Census, an ambitious new scientific study into the unique ways in which we each experience the world around us. The study is led by neuroscientist Professor Anil Seth from the University of Sussex in collaboration with Professor of Philosophy Fiona Macpherson from the University of Glasgow. The research team aims to reach tens of thousands of people worldwide with the Census, making it the largest study of its kind and the first major citizen science project into perceptual diversity. The UofG Community are invited to participate.

Scientists and philosophers have long been fascinated by perception: the process by which the brain helps create our experiences of the world by processing sensory information. Yet little is known about how this process differs for each of us, or how the many influences on perception relate to each other - leading us to each experience the world in our own unique ways.  Participants taking part in the Census will be invited to complete a series of online interactive and engaging tasks, exploring themes such as colours and illusions, time, sound and music, and our beliefs about the world.

As well as contributing to this emerging field of science, those taking part in the Census will have the chance to learn more about their own powers of perception. Connecting thousands of participants around the world, the findings from the study will generate a unique body of scientific and philosophical research and data, which will be an extremely valuable resource for years to come. Initial findings are expected at the end of this year.

Perception Census 2

Fiona Macpherson, Professor of Philosophy and Director fo the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience at the University of Glasgow said:

"We invite people to take part in the Perception Census so that we we can find out how people perceive the world differently. The Census examines many different aspects of perception such as seeing colour, hearing music, experiencing illusions, and having dreams. We provide feedback to people about their own perception, the perception of others, and what we are studying, which we hope will lead to a greater understanding of the diversity among people. Philosophers and scientists are only beginning to uncover the extent of the fascinating differences between people, and to understand the implications for our understanding of the nature of perceptual experience, the world around us, and how we should study the mind."

You can participate in The Perception Census via:
Perception Census | Welcome (dreamachine.world)

First published: 15 July 2022