Black and White Aren’t Opposites After All

Neuroscientists Are Still Cracking the Puzzle of Why Our Brains Process Light and Darkness Asymmetrically

Most people see the world in color, yet artists can conjure up whole worlds—both realistic and imaginary—by using black pigments on white paper. Our ability to understand these drawings suggests that we use variations in brightness to extract a lot of visual information from the world. As a perceptual neuroscientist, I appreciate these drawings not just aesthetically, but also as experiments that can reveal what aspects of the world we perceive well and the neural processes by which we perceive them.

In popular culture, black and white are thought …

When You Say Go Jump Off a Cliff, I Feel It

Benjamin K. Bergen Explains the Astonishing Workings of Language in Homo Sapiens

In Squaring Off, Zócalo invites authors into the public square to answer five questions about the essence of their books. For this round, we pose questions to UC San Diego …

You Won’t Sound Like Santana-At First

Psychologist Gary Marcus On Learning When Old (or Older)

What inspired an accomplished scientist with no known musical aptitude to learn to play guitar just before turning 40? At an event co-presented by Kaiser Permanente in front of a …