Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2018/06/180604172734_1_540x360.jpg
Though that may be a very modest level of awareness that humans perhaps share with hamsters, psychologists at the Georgia Institute of Technology were fascinated to observe how two regions of the brain work together to produce this visual confidence.
"We had already thought of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as producing that confidence, but we haven't previously distinguished two regions of it as having distinct, separate roles," said Dobrimir Rahnev, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Psychology.
Phenomenon - Type - Metacognition - Brain - Registers
The observed phenomenon is a type of metacognition, which is broadly defined as when the brain registers, i.e. becomes aware of, something else that the brain is doing. Metacognition can be as complex as pondering your own thoughts or as simple as knowing you feel itchy, or that you just saw something.
The two regions of the PFC that the researchers studied were the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC). The aPFC is about two inches above the eyebrow, near the top of the forehead and DLPFC is about a few inches directly behind aPFC.
Area - Collects - Input - Study - Inputs
The upper area collects visual sensory input, according to the study, and when it has strong inputs, it signals down to the aPFC, which usually correctly and confidently registers -- yes, I'm aware I see that.
"The aPFC takes the evidence from the DLPFC and matches it to a level of confidence of what is being seen," said graduate research assistant Medha Shekhar.
Rahnev - Shekhar - Study - May - Journal
Rahnev and Shekhar published their study in May in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Though they have separate roles, neither region appears to lay claim to being the chief confidence maker of having seen something.
Parts - Rahnev - Process - Confidence - Rating
"I would say that it's both parts together," Rahnev said. "The whole process of generating a confidence rating can be thought of as metacognition, so both the DLPFC and aPFC contribute to the...
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