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World we see is make-believe, top British scientist says
THE human brain creates its own version of reality, and the world we see around us is mostly make-believe, according to a top British scientist.
Professor Bruce Hood will explore the limits of the human mind in a series of prestigious lectures for the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the oldest independent research body in the world, it was announced yesterday.

The psychologist plans to induce false memories in audience members and use pickpockets to demonstrate how easily people are distracted, in a bid to prove how we have less control over our own decisions and perceptions than we like to imagine.

"A lot of the world is make-believe. We're only aware of a fraction of what's going on," Hood told The (London) Times. "We have this impression of an expansive panorama in front of our eyes, but all we are ever seeing is an area the size of our thumbs at an arm's distance. The rest is filled in, as the brain creates a stable environment."

He added, "Though you might think you're an individual and captain of your ship, a lot of processes are being controlled by those around you and your environment." Hood will head the talks for the Royal Institution's Chr*stmas Lectures, which were started in 1825 by Michael Faraday and have been held every year since then, except for a break during World War II.

"One thing I guarantee is that I will leave the audience wondering if they can ever trust their brain again," he said.
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