Categorization in the Brain
Professor Earl Miller discusses the importance of the brain's ability to categorize objects.
Why was the discovery of categories in the brain important? Because, categories are what provides us with our basic knowledge of how the world works. If you want to figure out how the brain works as an intelligent goal-directed machine, we have to understand where and how this information is represented in the brain. It's our first step into really getting down into the detailed mechanisms of how categories and other knowledge is acquired in the brain and importantly what happens in a dysfunctional brain that loses this information.
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Professor Earl Miller explains that that the term 'plasticity' is used by neuroscientists to refer to the fact that the brain changes as a result of experience.
Professor Earl Miller explain that the brain, unlike a computer, processes information in a parallel manner. This makes for quick identification of objects.
Professor Earl Miller explains that neurons in the prefrontal cortex respond to recognize very specific categories of object such as 'dog' or 'cat'.
Professor Earl Miller explains that the visual cortex, inferior temporal cortex, and prefrontal cortex perform distinct functions in object identification.
Professor Earl Miller describes research that shows objects are recognized using higher brain regions, specifically the prefrontal cortex.
Professor Earl Miller discusses the hypothesis that an entire network of neurons are required to perceptually identify a single object.
A overview of perception-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Stanley Miller, 1997.
Brain scans of close relatives of children with autism reveal clear abnormalities that parallel those seen in autism.
Networks are the engines that drive our brain, they exist at every level of organization. Genes, proteins, and neurons all form highly integrated complex networks.