Is Seeing Believing?


In this programme, broadcast on BBC2 on 18th October 2010, Horizon investigated sensory perception, illusions and the interplay of our different senses. Beau Lotto, as one of the programme’s contributors, explained the reasons why the way we perceive the world around us is based primarily on context and history rather than simply the light that shines onto the eye. His contribution included doing a ‘street performance’ in London’s Covent Garden, where he showed the public that tricks of illusion are, in fact, no different from our every-day perceptions of the world.

As part of this programme, the BBC commissioned Beau Lotto to write a short article about the nature of illusion for the BBC website’s home page. The item received nearly 1 million hits in two hours, demonstrating the public’s tremendous fascination with perception.

An interactive video quiz based on some of the illusions featured in the programme is still available on the BBC’s website, along with detailed explanations as to how these illusions work and what they tell us about human perception: click here

The programme is available to watch on Youtube. Watch now