Researchers Locate Predictive Center of the Brain
BOSTON, June 2 (UPI) — Rather than reacting to stimuli, the human brain makes predictions about the things you see, hear, touch and smell, and researchers have now identified the part of the brain responsible for this.
Limbic parts of the brain send but do not receive predictions, leading researchers to believe that limbic tissues don’t react to external stimulation, rather they direct processing in the brain by sending predictions to the other parts of the cortex.
“What your brain is trying to do is guess what the sensation means and what’s causing the sensations so it can figure out what to do about them,” said Lisa Feldman Barrett, a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory at Northeastern University, in a press release.
“Your brain is trying to put together thoughts, feelings, and perceptions so they arrive as needed, not a second afterwards.”
This, Barrett argues, is the opposite of the previous theory that the brain is taking in information and reacting to stimuli. Barret says the brain, rather than just being reactive, is wired to ask, “The last time I was in a situation like this, what sensations did I encounter, and how did I act?” She says the most vital sensations are “interoceptions,” inside the body.
The study is published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience.