#TROC (The Reconstruction Of Colours, November 23, 2019):

How difficult is it to pick berries from a tree? Do green flowers exist? Is blue still blue if it is not being known? ‘Where’ are your eyes? ‘Who’ needs colour vision? Is colour an elemental, physical, measure of the world? Is colour also mind- (or, sensor-) dependent? Do name-ability and know-ability go together? Is lustre similar to colour? Why is there a ‘three-ness’ to colours? How is it even possible to mix colours to get new ones? Are certain colours harder to make than others? Does every quality reside in a substratum? Do you confuse intensity and colour? Do you find B&W films compelling? Why do we see colour illusions? Are dreams colourful? What is the role of colour ‘in’ imagination? Where is the Self (& colour perception) located in wakeful, dream, & deep-sleep states? How does one establish this? Are visual imagination and perception different only in degree (& not in kind)? Why are ibogaine induced hallucinations invariably described in colour? Do we ever see true colours? Why do we differentiate red and green so clearly? Do colours cause things (including evolution)? Can we imagine colours we have never seen? &, would there be a perfect black in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from neuroscience (Dr. S. P. Arun, IISc, Bangalore), philosophy (Dr. Mrinal Kaul, Manipal Centre for Humanities, Manipal), & chemistry (Prof. Nalin Pant, IIT Delhi, New Delhi).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TROC show.

Dr. S. P. Arun (neuroscience) is currently an Associate Professor at the Centre for Neuroscience (CNS) at IISc., Bangalore. He also  leads the Vision Lab at CNS, IISc. His research interests are visual perception and object recognition. He is fascinated by how the brain transforms sensations into perception. Dr. Arun received his B. Tech. (Electrical Engineering) from IIT Bombay, and M.S. & Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering) from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. He completed his postdoctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. At the Vision Lab, Dr. Arun and his team focuses on understanding the code in which the brain represents objects for perception, and how the brain transforms what is seen into what is perceived. His team conducts human experiments, where they probe the perceptual representation using behavioral tasks such as visual search or categorization and explore the neural correlates using brain imaging (fMRI) or perturbations (TMS). They also use computer vision experiments, to compare state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms with human performance, and look for ways to improve them through insights from biological vision. Dr. Arun’s research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as: Scientific Reports, Journal of Vision, Psychological Science, Journal of Neurophysiology, & Neural Computation. Dr. Arun was selected to be on the Abstract Review Committee for the Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting (2017). He was also awarded the Senior Fellowship from the Wellcome-DBT India Alliance in 2017.

Dr. Mrinal Kaul (philosophy) is Assistant Professor at the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal University and is also coordinating its Centre for Religious Studies. His research interests lie in early and post-scriptural Śaiva literature particularly in the context of pre-modern Kashmir and its Trika Śaivism mainly represented by Abhinavagupta. He received a B.A. (Hons.) in Sanskrit Language and Literature from St. Stephen’s College (Delhi University, 2003) and an M.A. in Sanskrit Language and Literature, Indian philosophical literatures, from Department of Sanskrit, University of Delhi (2006). He then went to St. Cross College, University of Oxford, UK, for a Masters in Studies (2017), where his thesis was titled, ‘Causality and Ontological Hierarchy in the Tantrāloka’. He was also a Visiting Fellow at the Eastern University of Naples (Italy, 2012). He then went to Concordia University-Montreal, (Canada), to complete his Ph.D. in Religion, where his thesis was titled, ‘Abhinavagupta’s Theory of Reflection: A Study, Critical Edition and Translation of the Pratibimbavāda (verses 1-65) in the Chapter III of the Tantrāloka along with the commentary of Jayaratha’. Together with Prof. Ashok Aklujkar he edited a volume titled Linguistic Traditions of Kashmir published in 2008. A volume titled Minor Works of Abhinavagupta edited together with Francesco Sferra is about to be published from Naples in Italy. His recent publication includes ‘Abhinavagupta on Reflection (Pratibimba) in the Tantrāloka’ (2019) published in the Journal of Indian Philosophy.

Prof. Nalin Pant (chemistry) is a Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. His research interests are  theoretical and experimental studies on molecular conformation, molecular recognition, & chemical education. Prof. Pant received a B. Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry from Hindu College (Delhi University, 1982), and an M. Sc. (Chemistry) from IIT Madras (1984). He then went to Princeton University (USA) to complete his Ph. D. in Organic Chemistry (1989), and also worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow (Structural Biology) at the Rockefeller University, (1989-1992). He joined IIT Delhi in 1992, and has been associated as a faculty since then. As part of his research, Prof. Pant has been a part of efforts that sought to understand how molecular shape becomes biology (Molecular Recognition). He was also part of a team that figured out, from a molecular perspective, how the inside of a cell ‘knows’ what happening outside it (Signal Transduction). Prof. Pant’s research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as: Supramolecular Chemistry, Journal of Inclusion Phenomena, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology (Elsevier), Journal of Chemical Research, Pure and Applied Chemistry, & Tetrahedron (ScienceDirect).

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TROC mentions: Abhinavagupta, Bhartrihari (Bhartṛhari), Adi Shankara, Karl Popper, William Henry Perkin, & Nicholas Humphrey, among others.