Hooked on a Feeling
Monday, November 3, 2008
Presented by Science & the City
The first event in the Science of the Five Senses Series, a 5-part series of live events designed to convey to scientists and nonscientists alike the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge about how humans perceive our environment, through presentations that integrate science and art.
Of all our senses, touch is the most difficult to fathom doing without. On the most basic level, somatosensory perception is crucial to human life and survival. It also plays an important role in our emotional development, creation of memories, and connecting with our environment. While other senses let us perceive our environment from a distance, the sense of touch puts us in physical contact with our surroundings to acquire information.
At this event, neuroscientist and sensory perception expert Ranulfo Romo explains the science of the sense of touch and filmmaker Kun Chang shares stories from his award-winning documentary, Touch: The Forgotten Sense.
Ranulfo Romo is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar at the Institute of Cellular Physiology, National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico City. His lab combines psychophysical and neurophysiological experiments to investigate the neural codes for perceptual discrimination. Current research in his lab aims to understand how sensory experiences arise from activity of brain circuits.
Born in Denmark, Kun Chang earned a diploma in design for film and television at London's Royal College of Art. He has worked on films including Luc Besson's The Fifth Element and George Lucas's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. He directed Seavitamins, a short BBC-produced documentary that explores how the ocean soothes the soul and the documentary Touch: The Forgotten Sense. Released in 2001, the film has been sold to over 120 countries and has aired on Radio-Canada/CBC, Canal D, and the National Geographic Channel. Its French version won the best documentary award at Montreal's Téléscience Festival.