Visual prediction and perceptual expertise

Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 149 Thirteenth Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.65). 11/2011; 83(2):156-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Making accurate predictions about what may happen in the environment requires analogies between perceptual input and associations in memory. These elements of predictions are based on cortical representations, but little is known about how these processes can be enhanced by experience and training. On the other hand, studies on perceptual expertise have revealed that the acquisition of expertise leads to strengthened associative processing among features or objects, suggesting that predictions and expertise may be tightly connected. Here we review the behavioral and neural findings regarding the mechanisms involving prediction and expert processing, and highlight important possible overlaps between them. Future investigation should examine the relations among perception, memory and prediction skills as a function of expertise. The knowledge gained by this line of research will have implications for visual cognition research, and will advance our understanding of how the human brain can improve its ability to predict by learning from experience.

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