Chapter

The Proactive Brain

Moshe Bar

in Predictions in the Brain

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897230 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395518.003.0010
The Proactive Brain

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This chapter proposes that the human brain is proactive in that it continuously generates predictions that anticipate the relevant future. In this proposal, analogies are derived from elementary information that is extracted rapidly from the input to link that input with representations that exist in memory. Finding an analogical link results in the generation of focused predictions via associative activation of representations that are relevant to this analogy, a process aided by context-based inhibition. Predictions in complex circumstances, such as social inter actions, combine multiple analogies. Such predictions need not be created “from scratch” in new situations, but rather rely on existing scripts in memory, which are the result of real as well as previously imagined experiences. This cognitive neuroscience framework can help explain a variety of phenomena, ranging from recognition to first impressions, and from the brain's “default mode” to a host of mental disorders.

Keywords: predictions; memory; associative activation; representations; recognition; first impressions

Chapter.  8304 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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