Cafe Scientifique: Rorschach Audio and electronic voice phenomena | University of Oxford

Cafe Scientifique: Rorschach Audio and electronic voice phenomena

Speaker
Joe Banks
Event date
Event time
19:30 - 21:00
Venue
University Museum of Natural History
Parks Road
Oxford
OX1 3PW
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free, donations accepted
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Not required

The "Rorschach Audio" lecture-demonstrations focus on debunking a notable (and alarmingly popular) form of pseudoscience, known as the Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) movement - a movement, not unlike the UFO scene, whose supporters contend that misheard recordings of stray communications chatter constitute "objective" and (even worse) "scientific" proof of the existence of ghosts. Rather than simply dismissing ghost-voice recordings out of hand however, "Rorschach Audio" talks show how EVP researchers misunderstand the mind's capacity to form what the physiologist Hermann Helmholtz referred to as "perceptual hypotheses", physically demonstrating the formation of such perceptions, using a number of highly entertaining, sometimes bizarre and relatively little-known audio, audio-visual and visual illusions.

Joe Banks is a musician and artist who recently finished a five-year Arts & Humanities Research Council fellowship hosted at the University of Westminster.