Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Expectations lead to less but more efficient processing in the human brain

Date:
July 26, 2012
Source:
Radboud University Nijmegen
Summary:
Even though we have the impression that we see the world around us as it really is, our perception is strongly influenced by our expectations. Our knowledge of the world helps us recognize objects and people quickly and accurately, even when the image we receive is noisy or unclear, such as cyclists in the park at dusk, or football players on a television set with poor reception.

Even though we have the impression that we see the world around us as it really is, our perception is strongly influenced by our expectations. Our knowledge of the world helps us recognise objects and people quickly and accurately, even when the image we receive is noisy or unclear, such as cyclists in the park at dusk, or football players on a television set with poor reception.

Related Articles


Until now, knowledge of the way the brain combines prior expectations with information from the outside world has been lacking. A recent study at the Radboud University, at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour in Nijmegen, sheds light on this process.

During the study, participants were presented with both expected and unexpected images, while their brain activity was recorded with an MRI scanner. When participants viewed expected images, regions of the brain known to be involved in visual processing were less active than when they viewed unexpected images. Surprisingly though, at the same time, these regions contained a clearer representation of the expected images than of the unexpected ones. This latter finding was established through use of a so-called brain-decoder; a computer algorithm that tried to decode which image a participant saw from their brain activity. It turned out that the brain-decoder was more successful at decoding expected than unexpected images, an indication that the activity in these brain regions contained a clearer representation for expected images.

Therefore, expectations lead to less but more efficient processing in the human brain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radboud University Nijmegen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Kok, JannekeF.M. Jehee, FlorisP. deLange. Less Is More: Expectation Sharpens Representations in the Primary Visual Cortex. Neuron, 2012; 75 (2): 265 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.04.034

Cite This Page:

Radboud University Nijmegen. "Expectations lead to less but more efficient processing in the human brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726094506.htm>.
Radboud University Nijmegen. (2012, July 26). Expectations lead to less but more efficient processing in the human brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726094506.htm
Radboud University Nijmegen. "Expectations lead to less but more efficient processing in the human brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726094506.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins