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Our Senses

A young girl stands in a room with black and white gridlines curving across the walls and floor

Our Senses engages the senses and challenges perceptions of reality through a series of immersive and playful rooms. 

Every day, we perceive the world around us through our senses. But it turns out that our senses are much more than just sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance, and taste. And for humans, our perception of “reality” isn’t exactly what it seems. 

Our Senses explores the relationship between our senses and perception, and reveals how the brain actively constructs our perception of reality. 

Highlights

Throughout the exhibition, highly immersive sensory simulations demonstrate a fundamental aspect of a specific sense, with accompanying "How Does It Work?" sections explaining the biology behind that sense.

Activity stations – including games, illusions, scent stations, and more – demonstrate the role of the brain in processing sensory information to construct our perception of the world. An interactive presentation reveals the distinctive features of human perception.

Experience how the brain deals with conflicting information in a "wavy" room that feels flat but appears distorted, manipulate 3-D animations of brains to compare the neural pathways of different species, and explore the potential for artificial intelligence to extend the senses with a hands-on activity. 

Key Questions

  • What are senses?
  • How does the human brain use sensory information to understand the world?
  • How do senses differ among different animals, and why?
  • How do humans study and extend the ability to sense and perceive?

Reviews

"Takes you out of your comfort zone – that is, challenging the senses through which you've experienced your entire life – and places you in the unknown." 
— The New York Times

"Prepare for sensory overload: Your eyes, ears, nose and, especially, brain are going to be tested."
— The New York Times

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Contact us to request availability for hosting this traveling exhibition. 

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Our Senses is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org).