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Thursday, March 07, 2019

How does your brain make sense of 'the bigger picture?' | Neurology / Neuroscience - Medical News Today

Maria Cohut, News Writer at Medical News Today observes, Our brains recognize patterns and can "distance" themselves from the details in order to see "the bigger picture." Researchers are now striving to find out how, exactly, the brain is able to gain perspective.

We are yet to learn exactly how our brains establish complex connections.
Photo: Medical News Today

The human brain is a complex piece of machinery, able to absorb, process, hold, update, and recall a vast amount of information that has allowed us, as a species, not only to survive but to thrive in a world full of challenges at every step.
Early on, infants can learn to differentiate and recognize faces, to identify specific sounds and show a preference for them, and even to process cause-and-effect relationships.

How do our brains manage to navigate complex streams of information and form helpful associations though? This is the question that three scientists from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia — Christopher Lynn, Ari Kahn, and Danielle Bassett — have set out to answer.

The researchers explain that so far, scientists have thought that the brain uses sophisticated processes to establish the higher-order structure of statistical relationships...

Anticipating consequences 
In their new model, which they presented at the American Physical Society March Meeting 2019, the investigators explain that the brain must move away from the specifics to create higher-order idea connections.

Turning to Impressionist art to illustrate this concept, Lynn notes that, "if you look at a pointillist painting up close, you can correctly identify every dot." But, "If you step back 20 feet, the details get fuzzy, but you'll gain a better sense of the overall structure."

Source: Medical News Today