neuroscience   29161

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Linking signal detection theory and encoding models to reveal independent neural representations from neuroimaging data
Many research questions in visual perception involve determining whether stimulus properties are represented and processed independently. In visual neuroscience, there is great interest in determining whether important object dimensions are represented independently in the brain. For example, theories of face recognition have proposed either completely or partially independent processing of identity and emotional expression. Unfortunately, most previous research has only vaguely defined what is meant by “independence,” which hinders its precise quantification and testing. This article develops a new quantitative framework that links signal detection theory from psychophysics and encoding models from computational neuroscience, focusing on a special form of independence defined in the psychophysics literature: perceptual separability. The new theory allowed us, for the first time, to precisely define separability of neural representations and to theoretically link behavioral and brain measures of separability. The framework formally specifies the relation between these different levels of perceptual and brain representation, providing the tools for a truly integrative research approach. In particular, the theory identifies exactly what valid inferences can be made about independent encoding of st
ScienceDesign  neuroscience  psychology 
yesterday by researchknowledge
The Consciousness Deniers
What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience. Next to this denial—I’ll call it “the Denial”—every known religious belief is only a little less sensible than the belief that grass is green.

The Denial began in the twentieth century and continues today in a few pockets of philosophy and psychology and, now, information technology. It had two main causes: the rise of the behaviorist approach in psychology, and the naturalistic approach in philosophy. These were good things in their way, but they spiraled out of control and gave birth to the Great Silliness. I want to consider these main causes first, and then say something rather gloomy about a third, deeper, darker cause. But before that, I need to comment on what is being denied—consciousness, conscious experience, experience for short.
philosophy  mind  neuroscience  from instapaper
2 days ago by ayjay
Predictive Processing & Art as Cognitive Remodeling
We appear to treat artistic works simultaneously as communications — where accuracy in judging interlocutor intent is valuable — and as maps or models of reality, which is perhaps why we also use words like “authenticity” and “truthiness” in talking about art, or why a work which doesn’t “ring true” is written off. Predictive processing is a way of explaining our attraction to both types of artistic ambiguity, that is, those which play off our understanding of artworks as communications and those which play off our understanding of artworks as reality-training inputs. Insofar as we (often unconsciously) see works as reality models, or eligible inputs in the brain’s predictive training set for reality testing, we look for models which upend, qualify, or otherwise add nuance to any in the system’s current set of all top-down predictions. If a work or a part of a work does not “ring true” or “resonate,” it is dismissed by the predictive processing system so as not to contaminate learning. To use neural network terms: Upon recognizing some kind of fundamental difference between the underlying logic or grammar of the work and the underlying logic or grammar of previously interpreted reality, the brain excludes the stimulus from its training set; the input-space is filtered and constrained by network assessments. While resonance is a necessary heuristic, it is a poor one.
neuroscience  art  criticism  from instapaper
2 days ago by ayjay
Sabine Kastner: "Unsere Vorstellung von Aufmerksamkeit ist eine große Illusion" | ZEIT ONLINE
Sie glauben, Sie schauen konzentriert auf Ihren Bildschirm? Tun Sie nicht: Ihr Gehirn schweift dauernd ab. Neurowissenschaftlerin Sabine Kastner erklärt das Phänomen.
psychology  brain  neuroscience 
2 days ago by cito
Chill factors: The everyday things that make us see ghosts | New Scientist Nov 2017
"Over the years, researchers have singled out various physical, psychological and environmental factors. But debate continues about which ones are actually involved, how they create ghostly experiences and why some of us are more affected than others."

" In the early 1900s, British radio pioneer Oliver Lodge linked physical vibrations to reports of psychic phenomena. Others have since pointed the finger specifically at infrasound – sounds below the normal limit of human hearing – and electromagnetic fields. .... But other studies have been inconclusive."

" in 2009 by a team at Goldsmiths, University of London, who built a room to investigate environmental factors linked to ghostly encounters. Participants in the Haunt project reported plenty of “anomalous” sensations, ranging from tingling and sadness to sensing a presence, terror and even sexual arousal. However, there were no peaks in these effects close to planted sources of infrasound, and they were just as common when the infrasound was off as when it was on."

"The case for electromagnetic fields is less compelling, but O’Keeffe suspects infrasound does have a role in experiences of haunting. ... Context is crucial, though. "

"Some clues come from neurological patients who report feeling someone is there when no one is actually present. Olaf Blanke [et al.] examined some of them, and traced their experiences to lesions in parts of the brain involved in sensorimotor control: ... In particular, damage in any one of three brain areas resulted in the misperception of “self” as “other”."

“Our study shows that the brain has multiple representations of our own body,” says Blanke. “Normally, these are successfully integrated, giving us a unitary experience of our body and self. However, when the brain network is damaged, a second representation of our body – different from our physical body – may arise, which is not experienced as ‘me’ or ‘I’, but rather as the presence of another human being.” He notes that at high altitudes, a lack of oxygen could affect the temporoparietal junction, one brain region his team identified as playing a role in sensing a presence. Physical exhaustion could do so too. “Due to its direct link with sensorimotor processing, it could impact the brain regions we described,” says Blanke.
psychology  NewScientist  paranormal  hallucination  synaesthesia  sound  neuroscience 
4 days ago by pierredv

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