Deviate Book Summary By Beau Lotto

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Deviate is a comprehensive guide to the neuroscience behind our perceptions.

Accounting for illusions, distortions and mental shortcuts, this book explains how our brains make sense of the world around us.

It is an easy-to-understand handbook that punctures the fascinating complexities of human perception.

No matter your level of expertise in neuroscience, Deviate will give you an illuminating look into the science behind human cognition, behavior and decision-making.

It's a must-read for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the way we perceive our surroundings and the implications it has for our lives.

Deviate Book

Book Name: Deviate (The Science of Seeing Differently)

Author(s): Beau Lotto

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 26 Minutes

Categories: Creativity

Author Bio

Beau Lotto is an accomplished professor of neuroscience at the University of London as well as the founder of Lab of Misfits, a neuro-design studio.

His work has been presented to international audiences on platforms such as the BBC, National Geographic, and TED Talks.

He is particularly renowned for his research around cognitive functioning and it's implications within society.

Unlock The Mysteries Of Your Mind: A Guide To Understanding Human Perception And Creativity


Reading Beau Lotto’s Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently can show us that there’s a way to see the world differently than we are used to – if we look past the illusion our brains create.

By examining the science behind human perception and delving into how our minds play tricks on us, this book can help us uncover an entirely new way of looking at our surroundings.

It breaks down why we get tricked by our brains so often, and teaches us how understanding these counterintuitive functions can open up paths for more creative thinking.

With this guide in hand, readers will discover things like why a tapestry looks brighter in the store, how to attach a candle to a wall, and what happens when you forget how to ride a bike – all while simultaneously unlocking new ways of perceiving their environment with fresh eyes.

Deviate is an essential tool for gaining insight into the hidden world around you.

Our Brains Are Poorly Equipped To Distinguish Reality From Illusion

One of the most remarkable realizations to come out of the viral sensation surrounding “the dress” in 2014 is that there is an objective reality, but our brains do not always see it accurately.

We may look at two circles and think one is darker than the other, when they are actually the same color.

Or we may feel like we’re moving backward when really there’s no movement at all.

All of this is happening due to the way our brains interpret visual and sensory stimuli differently depending on its context.

Our senses are unreliable in this sense, even though for the most part these distortions don’t cause any harm as they allow us to focus on more important sensations like pain or fear.

That being said, it’s completely understandable why humanity has a hard time accepting that what we think of as reality is sometimes just a misinterpretation by our brains.

It can be difficult to wrap our heads around this idea and process it fully – which is why books like Deviate exist.

They help us explore the boundaries between reality and interpretation and make sense of our minds’ deceiving ways.

The Value Of Interpretation – How We Make Meaning Out Of The Information Around Us

The world is full of information; every day, we receive data in the form of photons, chemicals and vibrations.

However, without interpretation or understanding, all this information is just meaningless noise.

Our brains and bodies naturally filter out the unnecessary information to make sense of what’s around us: we sense only the info that we need to survive, which is why we can only hear certain sounds, smell certain chemicals and see within visible light range.

But even with this limited filter we manage to take in a lot of confusing bundles of data – like looking at a forest or field at sunset.

The sight is actually an interplay between photons from sun; surface they reflect off and the air they travel through- it’s all tangled together in our sense of sight but without interpretation there is no meaning behind it.

Our ability to interpret data extends beyond physical elements; things like facial expressions or words have multiple meanings depending on their context- so really the process of interpreting can be both confusing and complicated.

That’s why it’s so important for us to not just collect pieces of information but also break them apart and put them back together again into something meaningful – otherwise they’d just be nothing more than noise!

The Power Of Interacting With The World: How Life Experiences Can Stimulate Brain Development And Unlock New Perceptions

Brain Development

Studies prove that we can condition our brains to be better and more adaptable by engaging with the world around us.

Ben Anderson, a blind three-year-old growing up in Sacramento, knew this when he figured out how to navigate his surroundings with echolocation, clicking his tongue and listening carefully to the sounds reflecting off objects.

This acoustic adaptation is an example of how flexible the human brain is; with enough effort, anything can be learned.

Supporting this idea is a classic experiment done with rats: those who had dynamic environments full of toys and things to explore showed better developed brains than those kept in boring cages with nothing to do.

Even more impressive is another study, where participants wearing special belts that vibrated toward north showed improved spatial perception after just a few weeks!

Ultimately, if you’re looking for ways to stimulate your brain without fancy equipment, just engaging in novel experiences or connecting with others is enough – exposing yourself to new things helps so much more than you might think.

Our brains learn by interacting with the world – a powerful reminder for us all!

The Power Of Context: How Our Perception Of The World Is Shaped By Our Surroundings

Context plays an important role in the way we perceive reality.

In 1824, Louis XVIII’s royal tapestry factory in Paris was experiencing an issue: customers were noticing that the colors of the fabric weren’t as vibrant when they took them home from the store.

Chemist Michel Chevreul discovered it wasn’t because of a lack of quality dyes, or a degrading threading process.

It was due to context: the threads with bright colors appeared more vivid when woven together into tapestries in the showroom, but on their own they seemed dull-looking.

This finding illustrates how our senses can be distorted by context and this changes our interpretation of whatever is being perceived.

Consider the common problem people face when learning foreign languages; Native English speakers have grown up differentiating between R and L sounds, while Japanese speakers may find it difficult because those distinctions aren’t necessarily meaningful within their language context.

We’ve become so accustomed to certain contexts that having these automatic perceptions can actually cause us to miss vital information — such as typos — because our brains simply adjust our perception to fix them according to past experience.

The Power Of Our Minds: How Conscious Thought And Imagination Shape The Way We Perceive Reality

Our conscious thought is a powerful force that allows us to create our own understanding and interpretation of the world.

The implications of this are profound–we are not limited to what we see in front of us, but can instead use our imaginations to create completely new worlds.

This ability has allowed us to produce amazing works of art such as fairy tales and films, and also contributes to our daily lives by influencing how we perceive the material world.

The concept is best exemplified with an optical illusion involving a spinning diamond.

The image remains static yet one’s impression of it can be changed based on their mindset—if they decide it should spin “left” then when they flip the page it will appear to do so.

It demonstrates that we can change our reality simply through conscious thought.

Research further highlights this point—perceptions about coins or hills for example can differ depending on factors such as past experiences or emotional states.

Ultimately, what is perceived as “out there” may just be a reflection of what is held in our minds, suggesting that if we change our mentality we have power over how we interpret the world around us.

How Unconscious Assumptions Limit Our Thinking And How To Overcome This Limitation

Our Thinking

Our assumptions about the world both help and hinder our thinking.

For example, if we have had a negative experience in the past, our mind will draw on that experience to quickly recognize similar experiences in the future.

This can be helpful, as it allows us to act more quickly or anticipate dangers.

However, this reliance on previously built connections can also prevent our minds from considering alternative perspectives or embracing novel ideas.

Our thought patterns become entrenched and limit our ability to challenge existing beliefs or perceive the world in a different way.

Fortunately, with some introspection and effort, we can learn to recognize our hidden assumptions and consciously deviate from them.

Making a conscious effort to break out of these patterns requires self-discipline, but it is worth it for the rewards of being more flexible when navigating life’s complexities.

Question Assumptions To Unlock Creative Solutions

To come up with ideas that are unique and innovative, it’s important to cast aside the assumptions you hold while exploring a new concept.

Take the Rosetta Stone, for example.

Researchers struggled to decipher the hieroglyphs on the stone as they assumed they were symbols representing whole words.

It wasn’t until young linguist Jean-François Champollion questioned this assumption and posed an idea that perhaps the hieroglyphs could be phonetic that he made a breakthrough and revealed a new way of seeing the world.

The takeaway message from the story of the Rosetta Stone is that it can be difficult to departing your notions of what something is or how it should work, especially if you’ve accepted them as fact before.

However, with careful examination and creativity one can look at established truths in a different light and achieve great results.

This can be seen in simpler problem-solving examples such as Dunker’s Candle puzzle where an unexpected solution presents itself when a previously held assumption about a box of tacks is changed.

Finally, Destin Sandlin demonstrates just how fragile our assumptive knowledge really is by building an inverted steering bike which leads even experienced cyclists to struggle to ride it.

His experiment illustrates that one small change can force us to learn entirely new skills and overcome our preconceived notions about how something works which has profound implications for creative thinking and development.

Embrace Uncertainty To Unlock Your Creative Potential

Creative Potential

Humans have an innate desire for certainty and security, and this often stops us from exploring the unknown.

However, if we never venture beyond our comfort zone, then we’ll never learn what could be waiting out there.

In order to discover new potential opportunities or solutions, it is important to embrace uncertainty.

The Deviate book summary encourages readers to pause between their experiences and reactions as a way of embracing uncertainty.

By taking the time to acknowledge that you don’t know all the facts about a situation, you can broaden your view of how it may be interpreted.

Acknowledging different interpretations of events can open up new ways of seeing the world and leads to creative problem-solving.

The key takeaway from Deviate is that discovering new perspectives in life starts with embracing uncertainty.

By recognizing when you don’t know enough about a situation or reaching out for alternative opinions on any matter, you will be able to create more possibilities than just staying within the bounds of your personal experience and assumptions.

The Key To Innovation Is A Balance Between Play And Efficiency

An ecology of innovation is the perfect mix of play and efficiency.

It encourages creativity, exploration and experimentation while still remaining focused towards a goal.

This type of environment creates a healthy balance between trying out new ideas and refining them to produce practical results.

At UC Berkeley’s Valley Life Sciences building, the research team demonstrates this concept.

They embraced their curiosity by studying how a cockroach moves so agilely, setting their own goal to create something new in bionics that brought greater precision in traversing difficult terrain later on.

The key takeaway from this ecology of innovation is to first allow yourself to think freely without imposing predetermined outcomes of your studies or experiments before-hand.

This allows for more creative and unexpected solutions which with have far greater benefits than any pre-meditated plans could ever bring about.

The refine these ideas over time as you better understand the subject until it is perfected according to your needs and goals.

In other words, when it comes to innovation, the best thing one can do is take some time out from the everyday humdrum to simply enjoy your activities for what they are then seeing where your thoughts can take you – deviating from the norm now which will help produce amazing results in the future!

Wrap Up

The Deviate book is all about breaking free of the limitations of our own perceptions and opening your eyes to different ways of thinking.

The key message throughout this book is that what we consider to be objective reality is actually an illusion: our five senses do not give us a full picture of the world around us, and what’s more, the way our brains interpret and understand these signals can often be skewed by our past experiences and assumptions.

The final take-away from this book is that in order to engage in creative thinking, you must recognize these processes, actively work against your ingrained thought patterns, and learn to live with uncertainty.

In other words, challenge yourself to discover new perspectives rather than staying within the confines of familiar ways of reasoning.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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