Psych 1XX3: January 28, 2013
The Matrix Problem
How do we really know the world is the way that we perceive it to be?
• It might be. However, we can replicate the coding in your brain due to technology
• SO you may not really be experiencing the real world
• Unfortunately, you cannot really tell for sure either way
Are you living in a computer simulation?
• Nick Bostrum
• There is significant evidence in his favour
Welcome to the Matrix
1) The Brain constructs your world
2) Hebbian learning provides a mechanism for neural coding
3) Prior learning interacts with a collaborative functional process across brain regions
A metabolically expensive organ
• Capable of coding so much information
• Neurons are communication cells
• They are tools—specialized cells designed to communicate information
3 classes of neurons:
• Collected from environment and then send to sensory nervous system
Ie: A simple neural circuit: Kneejerk Reflex
▯ ammer on knee and sometimes leg will jerk
▯ imultaneous action of senses to brain
Heuristics and Prior Knowledge
• Experiencing stimuli based on prior knowledge and context in which they are presented
• A bat and a ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball.
Q: How much does each item cost?
A: $0.05 & $1.05 (x+x+1=1.10 / 2x+1=1.10/ 2x=10/ x=5 cents)
Why do so many people get this wrong?
• Prior knowledge has Visual Top Processing
• All your past knowledge that can act as a filter to alter the way you perceive things in
o Ie: “when I grow up I want to be like mommy!” p ▯ ole dancer vs. home depot
Audio Top Down Processing
• Language stream segmentation problems
o How to recognize speech vs How to wreck a nice beach
o What makes most sense?
o See how the brain constructs your world
Top Down Processing meets sensory perception
• A and B are the exact same colour
• Why do people typically see A and B as being different colours?
• Top down processing causes you to perceive something that is not there
• The B is drawing on your experience of a checkerboard pattern
o You are assuming different qualities about the world that we are used to
o The light is coming from the right therefore, there is a shadow
o Brain is making all of these calculations to conclude things
o However—this is not necessarily different
o Brain is constructing your world