Captured Mind

Is the world around us really as we perceive it to be? What happens when our senses present us with conflicting stimuli? How do our brains interpret these signals? This travelling exhibition sets traps for your mind and lets you catch it out as it plays clever tricks on you.

Please note: this exhibition is only available for loan within Poland.

Our brain takes information coming in from our senses and builds a model of the world around us. But how does it cope with the huge quantity of incoming stimuli? The brain tries to select and filter out the most crucial information. However, it is more heavily influenced by emotions than you might realize. In fact it takes guesses, contrives, searches for patterns, manipulates our memories.

Once we realize it is possible to hear through our elbow, why not repeat the experiment with a stick or pen? If it proves possible to lay down painlessly on nails, then how about on gravel? And is it really possible not to recognize whether an object is hot or cold? The “Captured Mind” exhibition is a kind of scientific rite-of-passage. We need to try everything for ourselves: to touch it, examine it, test it. Because in fact the main “exhibit” under scrutiny here is the viewer, the experiencer. “Captured Mind” challenges schematic ways of thinking, encourages us to ask questions and seek our own answers.

The exhibition is further augmented by a specially-prepared scientific demonstration, which involves performing experiments with active audience involvement. During the live show we try to answer the following questions: How do illusionists take advantage of the imperfections of our senses? How strong is the power of suggestion? Can rhythm affect our perception of time? How do advertising specialists put their knowledge about how the brain works to practical use?

The exhibition is addressed to various groups of visitors – children from the first year of primary school, up through teens and adults. The exhibition was designed and built by specialists from the Copernicus Science Center staff, with the assistance of scientific experts. It consists of 13-15 interactive exhibit items, which can be chosen from among 20 available.

“Captured Mind” emerged in response to the huge popularity that was (and still is) enjoyed by Copernicus’ first such travelling exhibition, entitled “Experiment!”. These two roving exhibitions enable us to reach out to even wider segments of the public and to show people of all ages that science can indeed be a fascinating adventure.