WASHINGTON: Researchers have recently pinpointed the epicenter of brain’s predictive ability that unravels how the brain is such a surprisingly accurate fortune-teller, but only when it comes to mundane events.
University Distinguished Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett at Northeastern found that limbic tissue, which also helps to create emotions, was at the top of the brain’s prediction hierarchy.
W. Kyle Simmons, of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma co-authored the paper.
Barrett said that the unique contribution of their paper was to show that limbic tissue, because of its structure and the way the neurons are organized, was predicting, it was directing the predictions to everywhere else in the cortex, and that makes it very powerful.
Barrett summarized research on the cellular composition of limbic tissue, which showed that limbic regions of the brain send but do not receive predictions. This means that limbic regions direct processing in the brain.
They don’t react to stimulation from the outside world. This was ironic, Barrett argued, because when scientists used to believe that limbic regions of the brain were the home of emotion, they were seen as mainly reactive to the world.
The study is published in Nature.