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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Intuition and Common sense

Intuition suggests that perception follows sensation and therefore bodily feelings originate in the body. Common sense tells you that seeing is believing, but really the brain is built for things to work the other way around: you see (and hear and smell and taste) what you believe. And believing is largely based on feeling.
In recent years, sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered the human brain works on pre­dic­tions, con­trary to the pre­vi­ously accepted theory that it reacts to the sen­sa­tions it picks up from the out­side world.
Experts say humans’ reac­tions are in fact the body adjusting to pre­dic­tions the brain is making based on the state of our body the last time it was in a sim­ilar situation.However, recent evidence goes against this logic: interoceptive experience may largely reflect limbic predictions about the expected state of the body that are constrained by ascending visceral sensations.
The unique contribution of our paper is to show that limbic tissue, because of its structure and the way the neurons are organized, is predicting," Barrett said.
This means that limbic regions direct processing in the brain. They don't react to stimulation from the outside world. This is ironic, Barrett argues, because when scientists used to believe that limbic regions of the brain were the home of emotion, they were seen as mainly reactive to the world.
"It is directing the predictions to everywhere else in the cortex, and that makes it very powerful."
For example, when a person is instructed to imagine a red apple in his or her mind's eye, Barrett explained that limbic parts of the brain send predictions to visual neurons and cause them to fire in different patterns so the person can "see" a red apple.
Here is thelink to thet article"
Interoceptive predictions in the brain…/jour…/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nrn3950.html
In this Opinion article, the authors introduce the Embodied Predictive Interoception Coding model, which integrates an anatomical model of corticocortical connections with Bayesian active inference principles, to propose that agranular visceromotor cortices contribute to interoception by issuing interoceptive predictions. We then discuss how disruptions in interoceptive predictions could function as a common vulnerability for mental and physical illness.