A University of Worcester neuroscientist is set to host a talk exploring the challenging subject of the human imagination.

Lecturer in biomedical science, Dr Matt Di Miceli will delve into the questions of what imagination is, how it works and where it comes from.

The free talk, titled 'Limitless Imagination - How does our brain produce imagination?', will be held on Tuesday, March 5, between 7pm and 8pm at The Hive.


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Dr Di Miceli said: "It’s about understanding why is imagination so important in humans and why our brain is actually processing this, how does it actually benefit us?

"This is an area of science where there is still little research.

"In neuroscience, although we’ve advanced in histology, anatomy and biochemistry, I think psychology research has progressed more in terms of understanding cognitive processes, so it’s interesting to explore what we know so far.”

He added: "The brain is lazy.

"For example, if you’re asked to imagine a person riding on a lion, your brain will draw out what you know of the lion (aspects, shape, form) and will do the same for the person, before it combines all of this into image, via the associative cortex.

"You’re drawing on what you know and transposing it into the future."

Dr Di Miceli's presentation will not only touch upon the scientific mechanics behind imagination, but will also examine its role in conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

Additionally, he'll shed light on how drugs may stimulate imagination or control it.

Highlighting the implications of imagination on human evolution, he said: "Humans have developed a large frontal cortex to try to process forward future thinking and imagination is key in that.

"We can imagine something that will have a benefit to people, we can imagine events will happen, so this is important in our development as a species in areas like technology, such as space exploration."

The talk will also involve interactive polling, and attendees are advised to bring an internet-accessible device.

Tickets must be booked in advance through The Hive website (https://www.thehiveworcester.org/fantasy-worlds.html).