This summer, members of the Computational Memory and Perception Lab (Associate Professor Rosie Cowell, Graduate Students Natasha de la Rosa-Rivera and Anna McCarter, and Neuro Track Junior Aisling Finnegan) hosted scholars from the Girls Inc. Eureka! Program for a workshop on how our taste, vision, and memory can be deceived. Scholars rated a variety of foods on their sweetness before and after trying Miracle Fruit, a substance that makes sour foods taste sweet.
We made graphs of how their taste perception changed. Later in the day, scholars wore prism glasses which invert the visual world while trying to draw, walk, and pour water. A lot of fun mistakes ensued. Lastly, scholars saw how their memory could be fooled. We had Aisling pretend to steal a backpack and had the scholars pick who they thought had stolen it from a target-absent lineup. The scholars realized how easily they could be swayed to pick someone. It was a fun and rewarding day for everyone involved!