Alien Vision Revolution
“His ideas about the brain and mind are fascinating.” — The Wall Street Journal “Changizi's theories are appealing and logical... ...will make you wonder the next time you notice someone blush” — Scientific American Mind
Why do we have eyes on the front of our heads, like cats, rather than on the sides, like horses? And how is it that we find it so easy to read when written language did not exist until a few thousand years ago—a virtual millisecond in evolutionary time? These are just a few of the riddles theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi explored in his talk on Alien Vision Revolution. Searching for the design principles behind color vision, binocularity, motion, and object recognition, Changizi suggests what they say about human nature and the circumstances in which it was formed. He also uses those principles to extrapolate how extraterrestrial beings would be likely to see—probably the same sorts of writing but not the same colors, and not with eyes that face forward.
Mark Changizi was assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer and author of the The Vision Revolution and Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man. He is director of human cognition at the research institute 2ai Labs and managing director of O2Amp.