How does context change perception? Here, have a look at this clip:
First, it’s of course utter genious, but changing the background music in The Hobbit completely changes the way you perceive this final, dramatic scene.
Or does it?
Is it really your perception (that is, the ‘picture in your head’) that changes, or just your interpretation? And, what if the picture in your head can indeed be manipulated so easily? What does that mean for our generally accepted idea that we should only believe stuff we can verify with our own senses, if our senses can be fooled by listening to Marvin Gaye in stead of Howard Shore? And, what is that ‘picture in our heads’ we call consciousness good for anyway?
These are some of the questions we are working on. Using techniques from cognitive neuroscience, and experimental (social) psychology we chart out how our feelings, friends, and fantasies influence our conscious perception of the world, and how this conscious perception is related to reality.