What you see is not always what you get

With experience, the activity of clearly defined neurons (black line) in the visual cortex predicts an upcoming visual stimulus. What we expect to see and what we actually see allows us to read this text—or leads to oversights. Credit: Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research Georg Keller and his group at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) have identified neurons in the visual cortex whose activity predicts an upcoming visual stimulus. This activity emerges with experience and is integrated with the actual sensory input. What we perceive is thus a combination of what we expect to see and what we actually see. It has happened to all of us: we fail to notice a friend’s new glasses, our partner’s new hairdo, or a typo in the title of…


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