See It with Feeling: Affective Predictions during Object Perception

Lisa Feldman Barrett and Moshe Bar

in Predictions in the Brain

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897230 | DOI:
See It with Feeling: Affective Predictions during Object Perception

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This chapter explores the hypothesis that the brain routinely makes affective predictions during visual recognition. It suggests that the brain's prediction about the meaning of visual sensations of the present includes some representation of the affective impact of those (or similar) sensations in the past. An affective prediction, in effect, allows the brain to anticipate and prepare to act on those sensations in the future. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that affective predictions are made quickly and efficiently, only milliseconds after visual sensations register on the retina. From this perspective, sensations from the body are a dimension of knowledge—they help people to identify what an object is when upon encountering it, based in part on past reactions. If this hypothesis is correct, then affective responses signaling an object's salience, relevance, or value, do not occur as a separate step after the object is identified—affective response assists in seeing an object as what it is from the very moment that visual stimulation begins.

Keywords: brain; visual recognition; affective predictions; sensations; visual stimulation

Chapter.  8844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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