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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Your Visual Cortex Makes Its Own Decisions

Neuroscientist Discovers Brain’s Visual Cortex Makes It[s] Own Decisions

Michigan State University | October 5, 2019

The part of the brain responsible for seeing is more powerful than previously believed. In fact, the visual cortex can essentially make decisions just like the brain’s traditional “higher level” areas, finds a new study led by a Michigan State University neuroscientist.
The findings, published in Nature Neuroscience, provide another piece of the puzzle in the relatively new quest to unlock the brain’s secrets. Jan Brascamp, MSU assistant professor of psychology and lead investigator of the study, noted that the first cognitive psychology textbook didn’t come out until the late 1960s.

<more at; related links: (Negligible fronto-parietal BOLD activity accompanying unreportable switches in bistable perception. Jan Brascamp, Randolph Blake & Tomas Knapen. Nature Neuroscience (2015) doi:10.1038/nn.4130. Published online October 5, 2015. [Abstract: The human brain's executive systems have a vital role in deciding and selecting among actions. Selection among alternatives also occurs in the perceptual domain; for instance, when perception switches between interpretations during perceptual bistability. Whether executive systems also underlie this functionality remains debated, with known fronto-parietal concomitants of perceptual switches being variously interpreted as reflecting the switches' cause or as reflecting their consequences. We developed a procedure in which the two eyes receive different inputs and perception demonstrably switches between these inputs, yet the switches themselves are so inconspicuous as to become unreportable, minimizing their executive consequences. Fronto-parietal fMRI BOLD responses that accompanied perceptual switches were similarly minimized in this procedure, indicating that these reflect the switches' consequences rather than their cause. We conclude that perceptual switches do not always rely on executive brain areas and that processes responsible for selection among alternatives may operate outside the brain's executive systems.] and (Surprise: Your Visual Cortex Is Making Decisions. October 5, 2015)>

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