Think Different: How Perception Reveals Brain Differences (Scientific American Mind, Study)

“The ways in which brains differ from one another show up in the ways their owners perceive the world.”

“Rees’s studies establish that differences in the morphology, or shape, of our brains are mirrored in differences in the way we consciously experience and apprehend the world, including our own brains and bodies. In this way, neuroscience maps the physical structure of the material brain onto the inner geometry of phenomenal and ineffable experience.”

1. Ponzo illusion: “Whereas everybody who looks at the Ponzo perceives the upper bar as larger than the lower one, the magnitude of this effect differs substantially across individuals. (The size of the illusion is established by asking how much larger the lower bar has to be to make it look the same size as the upper one.) Surprisingly, these differences are reflected in the surface area of the primary visual cortex (V1) at the back of the head.”

2. Bistable illusions: “Here the scientists correlated the width of the cortical sheet—the thickness of its gray matter—with how long each stable percept lasts before it switches. Scanning the brains of 52 subjects—in a field dominated by studies that come to grand conclusions by querying a handful of brains—they found only a single region, the left and right superior parietal lobe (SPL), in which the thickness of the gray matter (and its density) significantly and consistently correlated negatively with the perceptual duration. In other words, the thicker the SPL cortex, the faster two interpretations switch back and forth.

3. Assessing the brightness of patches: “…in the right anterior prefrontal cortex. The more neurons you have in this region in the front of the brain, the better your introspection. Not that your performance goes up, but the insight you have into your performance—whether you thought you did well or not—increased. Patients with lesions in these regions typically lose the ability to introspect.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=think-different-jan-11

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Psychology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s