27
January
2011

Expectations speed up conscious perception

If you already know what you are about to see, you will recognise it faster

The human brain works incredibly fast. However, visual impressions are so complex that their processing takes several hundred milliseconds before they enter our consciousness. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main have now shown that this delay may vary in length. When the brain possesses some prior information ? that is, when it already knows what it is about to see ? conscious recognition occurs faster. Until now, neuroscientists assumed that the processes leading up to conscious perception were rather rigid and that their timing did not vary.

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Dr. Arjan Vink
T: +49 69 850033-2900
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