Masters of Deception: Fakery in the Natural World

Join Fiona Newell, Professor of Experimental Psychology and Nicola Marples, Professor in Zoology, Trinity College Dublin, for an entertaining talk on deception in the natural world. Together, they will compare and contrast animals and humans in their ability to fake behaviours to meet their goals. Humans are not the only imitators in the animal kingdom, with many animals employing clever tactics to manipulate their audience, find a mate or prey! In nature, we see the use of camouflage, mimicry, and other kinds of trickery simply as part of survival, whereas our sense of fake in human behavior can often elicit a very different response. This talk will explore how keeping it real in the animal kingdom might be overrated and show how faking it can often be highly beneficial to the individual.

About the speakers: 

Fiona Newell is a Professor of Experimental Psychology  in Trinity College Dublin, where her research focuses on the processes of human perception. Fiona leads the Multisensory Cognition Group at the Trinity College Dublin Institute of Neuroscience. The main goal of their research is to understand the brain and behavioural processes involved in the multisensory perception of objects, faces, bodies and scenes.

Nicola Marples is the leader of the Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology Group and member of the Evolutionary Biology and Ecology/Biological Sciences and the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research.

This event is part of THE MANIFESTATION OF THE MISREPRESENTED, a four-part evening series where we uncover the art of deception and fraud in our everyday lives. From art and science to the spoken word and the news we read each day, ‘the fake narrative’ permeates every element of the modern culture.

Each week we will be joined by an expert who will explore the value of authenticity, the rise of junk news, and ask whether, in a globalised economy, counterfeit products can ever be as good as the genuine article.

If you would like to avail of the 4 for 3 offer, please select all events and select 'Apply Promotional Code'.  Enter the code FAKE. The total cost is €5 per lecture or €15 for 4 lectures. 

For more information on the three other lectures in this series, visit the links below: 

The Genuine Article: Newsworthy or News Wary? 15.03.18

The Art of Faking It: The Science of Forgery in Art 04.04.18

Scientific B*llsh*t: How to smell a [lab] rat 02.05.18

If you are an attendee who would like to avail of ISL interpretation for this event, please contact

  • Date: 
  • Time: 
  • Where: Paccar Theatre
  • Price:  €5 per lecture // €15 For 4 lectures
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