Can we create new senses? Prof David Eagleman talks to Jim Al-Khalili about the nature of perception.

Literature student turned neuroscientist, Prof David Eagleman, tells Jim Al-Khalili about his research on human perception and the wristband he created that enables deaf people to hear through their skin. Everything we see, taste, smell, touch and hear is created by a set of electro-chemical impulses in the dark recesses of our brain. Our brains look for patterns in these signals and attach meaning to them. So in future perhaps we could learn to ‘feel’ fluctuations in the stock market, see in infra-red or echo-locate like bats? Each brain creates its own unique truth and David believes, there are no real limits to what we humans can perceive.


Producer: Anna Buckley

"David Eagleman may be the best combination of scientist and fiction-writer alive."
- Stewart Brand
"David Eagleman offers startling lessons.... His method in both Sum and his new book, Incognito, is to ask us to cast off our lazy, commonplace assumptions."
- The Guardian
"David Eagleman is the kind of guy who really does make being a neuroscientist look like fun."
- New York Times
"A popularizer of impressive gusto...[Eagleman] aims, grandly, to do for the study of the mind what Copernicus did for the study of the stars."
- New York Observer
"Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness."
- The New Yorker
"What Eagleman seems to be calling for is a new Enlightenment."
- Sunday Herald
"[A] neuroscientist and polymath."
- Wall Street Journal