Queen's University

When up is down: Psychologists look at adapting to a topsy-turvy world


Psychology professor Niko Troje and PhD candidate Dorita Chang have been turning test subject MW's world upside down. MW has spent the last week wearing inversion goggles—special glasses that completely invert the person’s view of the world. 

During the 10-day experiment, Troje and Chang are observing MW as she participates in a variety of everyday activities, such as eating and reading. They’ve also taken her out of her room to try mini-golfing, sailing, bowling and rock-climbing: all as part of a scientific study of the inversion effects on the retinal image and the flexibility of the brain to adapt.

“This is a radical tool to investigate the orientation-specific mechanisms in the brain,” says Professor Troje.

The glasses will come off on Tuesday afternoon, August 11, and the scientists will then study how long it takes MW’s brain to adjust back to her normal vision.

Chang and MW have been keeping blog on their experiences. It can be read at http://whatisupright.livejournal.com/.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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