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30th November 2012, 9:32am
Artists’ skill for visual illusions in the frame at professor’s free public lecture
The Art of Motion Perception One of the country's leading scholars on visual perception will describe how artists and film-makers create the illusion of movement in their work by playing tricks on the mind.

George Mather, Professor of Vision Science in the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, will deliver a talk entitled 'The Art of Motion Perception' in his inaugural lecture in the Lincoln Academy series.

The Lincoln Academy is the University's long-running series of cultural events which are free for the public to attend. It includes lectures from prominent academics from across the world, as well as guest talks from well-known public figures.

This latest event in the Autumn/Winter programme for 2012-13 takes place in the EMMTEC building on the University’s main Brayford Pool campus on Tuesday 4th December 2012, starting at 6pm.

The research of Professor Mather, who leads the Perception, Action and Cognition Research Group at the University of Lincoln, focuses on human visual perception, especially in the areas of visual movement, illusions, and visual art.

Much of his work on movement perception involves the study of visual illusions of movement, addressing questions about how to define illusions and how best to explain them. He has developed an extensive set of films to demonstrate the visual movement effects that he studies and some of these clips will be screened at his talk.

He also attempts to apply concepts and methods from vision science to the understanding of visual art, while at the same time acknowledging that science is only one of many perspectives one can take on art.

Professor Mather said: “The ability to perceive movement in visual scenes is vital for survival, allowing us to navigate safely through hazardous environments, to catch prey and to avoid predators.
“So the human brain has evolved special processes which analyse visual movement rapidly and reliably. My research on motion illusions and adaptation effects aims to uncover the hidden properties of these processes.
“The human brain’s expertise and its limitations in detecting motion finds expression in artistic depictions of moving scenes, both in movies and in paintings.
“This talk will explore the links between scientific discoveries about motion perception and the representation of motion in visual art.”

Professor Mather completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Sheffield in 1976, followed by a PhD in visual psychophysics at the University of Reading. After staying on as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Reading, he moved to a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at York University, Canada, and then to University College London. He was Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex until 2011, when he joined the University of Lincoln as Professor of Vision Science.

Members of the public are welcome to attend all events in the Lincoln Academy series. To book a place, please register by contacting the University of Lincoln’s Events Team by phoning 01522 837100, emailing or visiting and clicking ‘Events’.

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