Evolution wired human brains to act like supercomputers

September 16, 2023

Dr Reuben RideauxThe study’s senior investigator Dr Reuben Rideaux, from the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology, said: “Despite the conceptual appeal and explanatory power of the Bayesian approach, how the brain calculates probabilities is largely mysterious.”“Our new study sheds light on this mystery. We discovered that the basic structure and connections within our brain's visual system are set up in a way that allows it to perform Bayesian inference on the sensory data it receives. “What makes this finding significant is the confirmation that our brains have an inherent design that allows this advanced form of processing, enabling us to interpret our surroundings more effectively.”The study’s findings not only confirm existing theories about the brain’s use of Bayesian-like inference but open doors to new research and innovation, where the brain’s natural ability for Bayesian inference can be harnessed for practical applications that benefit society. “Our research, while primarily focussed on visual perception, holds broader implications across the spectrum of neuroscience and psychology,” Dr Rideaux said. They then devised mathematical models to compare a spectrum of competing hypotheses about how the human brain perceives vision.

Dr Reuben Rideaux 

The study’s senior investigator Dr Reuben Rideaux, from the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology, said: “Despite the conceptual appeal and explanatory power of the Bayesian approach, how the brain calculates probabilities is largely mysterious.”

“Our new study sheds light on this mystery. We discovered that the basic structure and connections within our brain's visual system are set up in a way that allows it to perform Bayesian inference on the sensory data it receives.

“What makes this finding significant is the confirmation that our brains have an inherent design that allows this advanced form of processing, enabling us to interpret our surroundings more effectively.”

The study’s findings not only confirm existing theories about the brain’s use of Bayesian-like inference but open doors to new research and innovation, where the brain’s natural ability for Bayesian inference can be harnessed for practical applications that benefit society.

“Our research, while primarily focussed on visual perception, holds broader implications across the spectrum of neuroscience and psychology,” Dr Rideaux said.

“By understanding the fundamental mechanisms that the brain uses to process and interpret sensory data, we can pave the way for advancements in fields ranging from artificial intelligence, where mimicking such brain functions can revolutionise machine learning, to clinical neurology, potentially offering new strategies for therapeutic interventions in the future.”

The research team, led by Dr William Harrison, made the discovery by recording brain activity from volunteers while they passively viewed displays, engineered to elicit specific neural signals related to visual processing. They then devised mathematical models to compare a spectrum of competing hypotheses about how the human brain perceives vision. 

The source of this news is from University of Sydney

Popular in Research

1

May 28, 2024

Can exams be shorter and better?

2

May 29, 2024

HKGAI Debuts Cutting Edge AI Projects at InnoEx 2024 | The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

3

May 28, 2024

Campus garden initiatives can help grow the next generation of environmental change-makers

4

May 28, 2024

Three NYU Faculty Awarded 2024 Guggenheim Fellowships

5

Jun 7, 2024

From ashes to adversity: Lessons from South Australia's business recovery amidst bushfires and pandemic

Record Share of U.S. Electorate Is Pro-Choice and Voting on It

2 days ago

LIVE: Cleanup begins after tornadoes, severe weather risk to linger through the weekend

2 days ago

Tabloid head wanted to 'protect' Trump from salacious stories

2 days ago

Foreign holdings of US Treasuries hit record high; Japan holdings rise, data shows

Jun 7, 2024

Cool Course: New York Underground

2 days ago

“No one can work in civil engineering alone”

2 days ago