Perception: The Illusion of Reality



Your mind is astonishing! And so is this exhibit. Your mind constructs your experience by distorting, adding, and even leaving things out. By focusing on three senses—touch, hearing and sight—Perception explores how your mind manipulates sensory data to shape your view of the world. Each visit will give you a new appreciation for that wonderful, mysterious organ, the human brain.





Humanity’s dominant sense can produce boggling effects and paradoxes. You will peruse some of the world’s most stunning illusions in our galleries, reenact ancient philosophical stories, and explore the amusing ways language misleads us.



Close your eyes and the auditory sense becomes its own world. In this section, you can put on headphones and sit for a virtual haircut, a carefully soundscaped experience that eerily simulates a haircut in a barbershop. You will have the opportunity to master Foley, the art of movie sound effects. If you’re up for a challenge, visitors can also try delivering an oration while wearing a speech jammer!



Your skin is the largest organ of your body, a landscape of feeling. Navigate the world solely with your sense of touch, through our dimmed tactile hall, for instance. Dive arm-first into the tactile boxes, or try activities that reveal features of your nervous system you never knew.


Find Your Inner Mad Scientist. 

Ask questions. Be curious. This is a museum where you touch the exhibits.


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