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Top-down predictions in the cognitive brain



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Available online at www sciencedirect com Brain and Cognition 65 2007 145 168 www elsevier com locate b c Top down predictions in the cognitive brain Kestutis Kveraga Avniel S Ghuman Moshe Bar Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School 149 Thirteen Street Charlestown MA 02129 USA Accepted 7 June 2007 Abstract The human brain is not a passive organ simply waiting to be activated by external stimuli Instead we propose that the brain continuously employs memory of past experiences to interpret sensory information and predict the immediately relevant future The basic elements of this proposal include analogical mapping associative representations and the generation of predictions This review concentrates on visual recognition as the model system for developing and testing ideas about the role and mechanisms of top down predictions in the brain We cover relevant behavioral computational and neural aspects explore links to emotion and action preparation and consider clinical implications for schizophrenia and dyslexia We then discuss the extension of the general principles of this proposal to other cognitive domains 2007 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved Keywords Vision Visual pathways Magnocellular Parvocellular Object recognition Computational methods Priming Synchrony Contextual facilitation Orbitofrontal cortex Neuroimaging Magnetoencephalography 1 Introduction 1 1 A primary function of the brain is to predict its environment As military tacticians have known for millennia surprise and uncertainty are costly in terms of time and energy expenditures Tzu 2006 Sharing a view expressed in the past we propose that a fundamental function of the brain is to predict proximate events which facilitates interactions with external stimuli conserves e ort and ultimately increases the chances of survival Useful predictions typically do not arise de novo Even innate abilities of the human brain such as vision or language



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