About this Research Topic
The main topic of this Research Topic is the surprising world of perceptual illusions involving all the senses and very common also in everyday life. Visual illusions may appear to be mere curiosities, amusing tricks for the senses, but they are useful tools for scientists to reveal and understand how perception works. All the known illusions and the scientific research triggered by them have demonstrated that perception is not the mere reproduction of the visual world, as suggested by naive realism. Although our sensations are accurate and truthful, they do not necessarily reproduce the physical reality but they correspond to a meaningful phenomenological adaptive world. Therefore, the illusions can be better described by the scientific realism, according to which the phenomenal world is the result of a long chain of perceptual organizations and neural dynamics in the brain.
Briefly, by demonstrating dissociations between the physical reality and the subjective perceptions, the illusions allow scientists to cast light onto cognitive processes (vision, attention, memory, creativity, consciousness, and perceptual development), onto the mind logic and the brain complexity, onto the structure of the phenomenal reality and onto the computational methods used by the brain to construct perceptual experience.
The main purpose of the Research Topic “The future of perceptual illusions: From phenomenology to neuroscience” is to provide a common place for a collection of papers in the multidisciplinary field based on illusions. The Research Topic includes new illusions, experimental results, reviews, and stimulating new viewpoints. This Topic encompasses phenomenal, experimental and theoretical studies as well as new methodological approaches on perception, attention, memory, consciousness based on illusions. Welcome are also advances in electrophysiological, neuroimaging, neuropsychological, psychophysical and computational approaches providing new key insights into mind and brain mechanisms based on perceptual illusions in both health and disease.
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