What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Visual Illusions and the Brain

September 4, 2010, 7:14 AM
Given a visual illusion with two interpretations, like the duck and the rabbit, our brain will switch between meanings. The phenomenon is an important evolutionary mechanism, say neurologists: "We need a trigger to prompt possible different interpretations so that we don't get stuck with a potentially incorrect interpretation of the world," says Ryota Kanai of University College London. "To find out which part of the brain might be involved, Kanai and colleagues asked 52 volunteers to watch a video of a revolving sphere and press a button when the rotation of the sphere appeared to change direction. Crucially, the sphere was not changing direction; it could simply be perceived to be rotating in either direction."
 

Visual Illusions and the Brain

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