Published: 21 March 2022 at 12:20
Discover what happens when there’s a mismatch between our body and brain
The mind-blowing science behind phantom limbs, out of body experiences, and why some people feel they are living in a dream will be revealed during a free event at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in Cambridge on Wednesday, 6 April.
The talk by Dr Jane Aspell, the Head of ARU’s Self and Body Lab, is one of 25 events being hosted by ARU as part of the Cambridge Festival, with presentations, exhibitions and performances running from 31 March until 10 April.
Dr Aspell’s event, Losing and finding the self in the brain, will cover the latest research into the unusual conditions that occur when there’s a mismatch between our body and our brain, which is the main focus of her work.
She will explain how neuroscientists study the causes of these disorders to find interventions to help patients, and also to gain insight into how the brain generates the ‘healthy’ sense of self that most of us take for granted.
Dr Aspell, Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at ARU, explained:
Dr Aspell’s talk begins at 4pm on Wednesday, 6 April, and is immediately followed by an interactive event, Generating the foundations of self, showcasing the work of ARU’s Self & Body Lab. Visitors will learn how stimuli from both outside and inside the body, such as our heart and gut, contribute to our sense of self.
Participants will get the chance to undergo an out of body experience generated using virtual reality, learn how the perception of the heartbeat varies between individuals, and discover how the experience of the body and self compares between dreaming and waking.
It will also feature a showcase of Artificial Intelligence-generated art created from dream reports. Visitors will be able to feed extracts of their own dreams into the AI dream machine to create a visualisation of their night-time experiences.
All Cambridge Festival events at ARU are open to the public and free to attend, although some need to be pre-booked. For further details, please visit the ARU website at https://aru.ac.uk/community-engagement/cambridge-festival-2022