Event Abstract

The proactive brain: predictions in visual cognition

  • 1 Harvard Medical School, United States
  • 2 Harvard General Medical Hospital, United States

Understanding the visual environment is crucial for our existence. In spite of the considerable complexity of achieving this goal, we are all extremely effective visual creatures. Research in my lab indicates that one of the main sources of this efficiency is the generation and use of predictions. Our proactive minds and brains continuously activate memories of previous experience in order to interpret the present and anticipate the future. In the domain of visual cognition, these predictions are based on characteristic object appearances, on typical spatial relations, and on statistical regularities of other recurring patterns. They are associative in nature, and are triggered rapidly based on rudimentary, gist information. This principle of predictions that are activated fast to facilitate perception, cognition and action covers an exceptional range of visual (and other) operations: from object to scene recognition, and from person self-impressions to shaping our visual opinions and preferences. The talk is planned to describe the theoretical foundations of this framework and the empirical evidence to support it.

Keywords: proactive brain, visual cognition

Conference: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI), Palma, Mallorca, Spain, 25 Sep - 29 Sep, 2011.

Presentation Type: Symposium: Oral Presentation

Topic: Symposium 2: Predictive coding in perception and cognition

Citation: Bar M (2011). The proactive brain: predictions in visual cognition. Conference Abstract: XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON XI). doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2011.207.00017

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Received: 03 Nov 2011; Published Online: 08 Nov 2011.

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