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Lab of Misfits


Public experiments in January

At any given time, we run a series of different experiments in our lab, using the public as subjects. At the moment, these include:

How does colour affect our perception of time?

This experiment is adapted from one that we ran in the lab for BBC2's Horizon: Do you see what I see? In it we are researching whether staring at a red or blue screen can warp people's perception of the passing of time. (Ongoing, all ages)

How sharp is cold?

An ongoing theme at Lab of Misfits is to look at associations between our senses. Do touch, sound and sight interact with each other, even in a controlled environment? Do words have shapes, and do silent objects have sounds? These may seem like silly questions, but they help us tounderstand perception at a fundamental level. (Ongoing, all ages)


What would you do?

This immersive-reality experiment looks at moral judgements. You may have taken tests designed to investigate your morality before, but probably not quite like this. Rather than reading a scenario and answering a question, you're in control of a situation, and you need to react in real time. There's no right or wrong answer, and we'll tell you more about the research question after the experiment. (Ongoing, adults only)


Does what you see change how you see?

This experiment started in a village in Namibia. Researchers noticed that people saw certain things differently to people that lived in cities. So, we decided to test this idea with adults and children alike. Lab of Misfits is hosting the London version of the test, which is being run simultaneously in two other locations. (Ongoing, all ages)


Playing with Plasticine

How does sight affect our sense of touch, our creativity and our happiness? We ask participants to make something out of a piece of plasticine. Some people do the experiment with their eyes open, while others are blindfolded and given relaxing music to listen to. Does the ability to see and hear what's around you affect what you make? Drop by to take part in PhD student Alessandra Milella's unique and fun test. (Ongoing, all ages)


Members of the public can take part in any of these experiments from 1–4pm Tuesdays to Thursdays, as well as during the Lates events on the last Wednesday of the month. While some experiments are open to adults only, others are also open to children.