What is real, and how are you sure it is so? Can you be confident in your perceptions when so many experiences are digital or influenced by the changing chemistry and architecture of your brain? Biomedical research uncovers ways that our minds and senses produce gaps between the actual and the observed. How do we navigate such ‘blind spots’, which can be exploited by trickery like fake news, but then embraced willingly to escape from reality? Researchers work to answer, as well as to complicate these questions, as we build new understanding of mental conditions such as dementia and phenomena like the placebo effect, and we advance basic research in Neuroscience. At the same time, research in fields such as Genetics and Reproductive and Regenerative Medicine is destabilizing the reality of nature as we know it.
An essay by William Myers