The power of prediction of your brain

The power of prediction of your brain

ASome neuroscientists have been studying the explanation of how the brain works. The research basically focuses on the brain’s predictions and expectations about reality. A “predictive coding theory” was developed which suggests that the brain makes up models or beliefs at each level of the cognitive process. These beliefs generally revolve around the information that they should be receiving from the lower part of the brain. The beliefs are then moulded into predictions that tell an individual what to expect in a particular situation. These predictions then get sent to the lower-level sensory region of the brain which enables the brain to compare the prediction with actual sensory input.

 

For example, an individual has an internal model of a table as a flat surface that has four legs. However, the individual can still perceive the object like a table if he or she sees it from a distance. Predictive coding has gained up momentum as a compelling idea to describe how perception works amongst cognitive scientists, philosophers, and psychologists. It is still quite a controversial issue and work is still under progress to find a landmark result.

 

However, a University Distinguished Professor, Lisa Feldman Barrett of Northeastern University has claimed to have found the epicentre of the predictions taking place inside the brain. Barrett writes in an article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience that the limbic tissue is a top contender of the brain’s prediction hierarchy for it helps in the creation of emotions. She says, “The unique contribution of our paper is to show that limbic tissue, because of its structure and the way the neurons are organised, is predicting. It is directing the predictions to everywhere else in the cortex, and that makes it very powerful.”

 

She goes against the common notion of “seeing is believing” and says that the brain works in a completely opposite manner and “sees what it believes”. The brain is in constant action, combining thoughts, feelings, and perceptions to eventually arrive at a conclusion while taking as much time as needed. It is important for neuroscientists to observe its actions closely to come at a solid conclusion.

 

Subarna Basu

Subarna Basu
Subarna Basu

pami.tuli@gmail.com

A final year English Honors student, waiting for Godot.

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