In Conversation: Colin Ellard and Peter KahnNeuroscientist Colin Ellard and psychologist Peter Kahn speak on the value of travel and discuss how we’ll be navigating the globe in the future.

In Conversation: Colin Ellard and Peter KahnNeuroscientist Colin Ellard and psychologist Peter Kahn speak on the value of travel and discuss how we’ll be navigating the globe in the future.

Issue 20

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Arts & Culture

“It’s tremendously important to go to another place in real time to experience cultural differences and not through some technological artifice”

Please introduce yourselves and what you study.
Colin: I’m a cognitive neuroscientist. I’m interested in the relationships between brain states and behavior, and I have a special interest in how to apply what we know about behavior and neuroscience to issues like building better cities, which is a field called environmental psychology. In my laboratory, I do experiments that involve simulations in immersive virtual reality of different settings and scales—anything from the interior of a room up to urban-scale settings. The other side of my practice is finding ways to study people’s psychological and physiological reactions to places “in the field.” For example, we’re taking people for walks through urban streetscapes and wiring them up with sensors to measure brain activit...

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