Lasting primacy in the proactive brain
It is proposed that the human brain is proactive in that it continuously generates predictions that approximate the relevant future. This proposal posits that coarse information is extracted rapidly from the input to derive analogies linking that input with representations in memory. The linked stored representations then activate the associations that are relevant in the specific context, which provides focused predictions. These predictions facilitate perception and cognition by pre-sensitizing relevant representations. In the talk I will concentrate on top-down predictions particularly in visual recognition and in the application of contextual knowledge in the human brain. This cognitive neuroscience framework provides a new hypothesis (The Lasting Primacy Hypothesis) with which to consider the purpose of memory, and can help explain a variety of phenomena, ranging from recognition to first impressions, from preferences to aesthetic evaluations, and from the brain’s ‘default mode’ to a host of mental disorders.