Lab of Misfits’ Dr Beau Lotto joins Daniel Stickler, future-focused visionary and thought leader, author, speaker, blogger and podcaster, to discuss the neuroscience of perception and how the insights about perception can be applied to every aspect of our lives.

The Neurohacker Collective Insights podcast is described as offering a voyage through topics and technologies revolutionizing human well-being. In the conversation between Dr Lotto and Daniel Stickler, some of the age-old questions that the greatest minds have grappled with for centuries were talked about: When you open your eyes, do you see the world as it really is? Do you see reality? Themes discussed included:

- How our assumptions control our perceptions and what we can do to break free from assumptions that don't serve us.

- Why our not seeing reality is essential for adapting and growing in uncertainty.

- Ways to reshape our perception with perception itself.

Much of the lively conversation centred on how creativity stems from uncertainty, what individuals should do to nurture creativity within themselves and the effect that cancel-culture might have on creative debate in our society.

Stickler asks Lotto whether information is the resolution of uncertainty? “Mathematician Claude Shannon, the founder of Information Theory, states this to be true,” says Stickler. “But I’m not sure if I agree”. Dr Lotto answers, “information is useful but it's not meaningful.” Lotto goes on to explain how it is a person’s response to information that makes it meaningful. It is in moments that are difficult, that we create ourselves. “Our assumptions and biases are revealed and you have a choice as to how you respond.” says Lotto. “You can respond in an obvious way or you can choose to do something differently. Whereas when things are easy, you continue to respond in the same way, you have no free will.” explains Lotto. If you respond with hate, that info means hate; if you respond with grace, that info means grace … which will  effect your future reflexes when you are presented with similar stimuli.

When asked by Stickler whether uncertainty increases as you gain knowledge, Lotto simply answers “yes, that’s wisdom for you!” Through embracing the wisdom of not knowing, comes humility. Humility is the engine of creativity. It's only from not knowing, that you can create anything new. 

Stickler ponders, “how can an individual cultivate that creativity within themselves?” “There aren’t any rules.” answers Lotto. “You need to create the rules, rather than follow them, in order to be creative.” Lotto goes on to explain how it is a mindset, a way of being, that seeks understanding and avoids the tendency to want to move away conflict that is a function of creativity. Seeking understanding and discovery is a curious mindset that engages in the world with questions rather than answers. “That mindset is effectively science,” reflects Lotto. “Science is the space where we love uncertainty, we are open to possibility, we are inherently collaborative and as a result, science is intrinsically rewarding.”

Stickler asks Lotto, “Do you think that cancel culture is eliminating debate from our society?”  “When debate is the attempt to convince, it can be futile,” replies Lotto.”In that scenario, debate creates a stand-still - you have a tug of war, where two people are trying to pull each other over to their side in order to be the winner.” Dr Lotto goes on to explain how it is the movement as a result of debate that he is passionate about. “How awful it would be to remain static all your life,” he says. Lotto elaborates on how people need to be in a state of movement and how we see relationships that remain static often just dying. The only way to do that, is by engaging in conversation, and the right kind of debate in order to understand.  

To listen to the podcast, The Neuroscience of Perception, click here.


Written by: Hannah Marshallsay



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