Gateways to the Mind: tricky trapezoid

4 minutes

Optical illusions show how past experience dramatically influences perception

‘I’ll never trust another trapezoid.’

Part of a series of educational films produced by Bell Laboratories between 1956 and 1964, Gateways to the Mind (1958) explored human senses and perception using animations, demonstrations and in-the-lab sequences. In this brief excerpt, the US English professor and public educator Frank C Baxter walks the audience through three experiments carried out at Princeton University’s Perception Demonstration Center, each highlighting the powerful relationship between perception and past experience.

Director: Owen Crump


Video/Art

How the ‘Master of Black’ uses non-colour to manipulate light in his artwork

4 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Film & Television

Why do we crave the awful futures of apocalyptic fiction?

5 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

Painted frame by frame, a vivid animation restores a history lost to deportation

6 minutes

Idea/Death

Humans are the only animals who crave oblivion through suicide

Nicholas Humphrey

Essay/Neuroscience

Now you see it, now you…

Seeing things that are hidden; failing to see things in plain sight. How magic exploits the everyday weirdness of perception

Vebjørn Ekroll

Video/Personality

Magic from the mundane – paper towels flourish in the hands of a coffeeshop artist

2 minutes

Idea/Mental Health

Psychopaths have feelings: can they learn how to use them?

Arielle Baskin-Sommers

Video/Gender & Sexuality

Meet the lucky little organ that is uniquely dedicated to pleasure

3 minutes

Essay/Social Psychology

Microaggressions?

Prejudice remains a huge social evil but evidence for harm caused by microaggression is incoherent, unscientific and weak

Scott O Lilienfeld