How External Sensory Expectations Give Context to How the Brain Predictively Perceives Information

In a thought-provoking animation by Lazy Chief for FOST (Future of Storytelling), neuroscientist Anil Seth explains how the brain engages with the constantly input of external stimulation. He specifically focuses on how the brain predictively perceives an object or situation, but is dependent upon sensory experience and expectation to give context to the situation. Seth used the 2015 meme “What Color is This Dress” as an example of a experience/perception mismatch. Essentially, the expected position of overhead lighting in the room influenced how the brain perceived the colors.

Neuroscientist Anil Seth explains how what we perceive isn’t an accurate reflection of a real, externally existing world. In fact, perception and hallucination are based on similar processes—they are our brain’s interpretation of myriad inputs. His groundbreaking research provides fascinating insight into what this means for storytelling.

xkcd Dress

via Vimeo Staff Picks

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.