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

Cafe Scientifique: Rorschach Audio and electronic voice phenomena

Joe Banks
19:30 - 21:00
University Museum of Natural History
Parks Road
Oxford
OX1 3PW
Lectures and seminars
Free, donations accepted
Yes
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.