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Why visual perception is a decision process

The study shows that humans occasionally perceive prediction errors as illusory percepts. In contrast to
popular predictive coding theories, where the brain 'explains away' prediction errors along a hierarchical processing scheme, our data demonstrate continued access to residual prediction errors.

We propose that such a strategy maintains flexibility at perceptual decision stages when coping with highly dynamic and ambiguous sensory input.

This research was done in collaboration with colleagues from the Freiburg University, and primarily funded by the SFB 874.

For full press release please visit https://news.rub.de/english/press-releases/2020-05-12-neuroscience-why-visual-perception-decision-process

To read the article online https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0232349

The Institut für Neuroinformatik (INI) is a central research unit of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. We aim to understand the fundamental principles through which organisms generate behavior and cognition while linked to their environments through sensory systems and while acting in those environments through effector systems. Inspired by our insights into such natural cognitive systems, we seek new solutions to problems of information processing in artificial cognitive systems. We draw from a variety of disciplines that include experimental approaches from psychology and neurophysiology as well as theoretical approaches from physics, mathematics, electrical engineering and applied computer science, in particular machine learning, artificial intelligence, and computer vision.

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