New research has found that the brain continues to accept ambiguous visual information about an object in motion even when it conflicts with more reliable information that we can touch. The studies, which appear in the June 7 issue of the journal Psychological Science and the forthcoming June issue of the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, provide new insights into the way the brain blends and balances information from different senses.
Credit: Daniel Dubois / Vanderbilt University
The research, conducted by Vanderbilt psychologists Randolph Blake, Centennial Professor of Psychology, and Thomas W. James and Kenith V. Sobel, research associates, found that the region of the brain that specializes in processing visual movement-the middle temporal visual center, or MT-also responds to motion that we feel. But they were surprised to discover that when individuals were presented with an ambiguous visual image and were able to touch that object, their brains did not fuse the visual and touch inputs into a single, accurate representation. Instead, the researchers found that the brain keeps the two inputs separate and accepts a degree of "cognitive dissonance" when the two conflict.
"This suggests that there is naturally a higher level of inconsistency between seeing and feeling something moving than there is between seeing and feeling somethings shape," says James.
David F. Salisbury | Vanderbilt University
Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Information Technology
05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences