Nerd Nite SF: "Beyond Belief: How Memory Obscures the Truth" by Indre Viskontas, 5/18/11 from nerdniteSF on Vimeo.

“Beyond Belief: How Memory Obscures the Truth” by Indre Viskontas

The Truth Is Out There. But how can we find it and what limits our ability to understand it? We are all still hunters-gatherers, though now of information instead of meat and berries (think of all those Tweets and RSS feeds). Yet the brain constrains how we process and use information to understand the world around us; it turns out that our personal experience trumps most other data. Dr. Indre Viskontas, cognitive neuroscientist and host of the TV show Miracle Detectives, draws upon her research and experiences investigating mysterious incidents across the country to highlight common traps in evaluating evidence for extraordinary claims.

Taking up space on her home office wall, Indre's degree and award collection includes rare specimens from UCLA, the University of Toronto, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the OperaBuffs and others. She is a bachelor of science, a master of both music and arts, and a doctor of philosophy. She is best known for her role as "Scully" on Miracle Detectives, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Amongst neuroscientists, she is respected for her work on memory and creativity, having published more than 30 papers and chapters before turning into a TV personality. Classical musicians say they respect her creation of several roles in obscure contemporary operas and atonal experimental chamber music. Almost no one else does.