See it with feeling: affective predictions during object perception

L. F. Barrett, M. Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People see with feeling. We ‘gaze', ‘behold', ‘stare', ‘gape' and ‘glare'. In this paper, we develop the hypothesis that the brain's ability to see in the present incorporates a representation of the affective impact of those visual sensations in the past. This representation makes up part of the brain's prediction of what the visual sensations stand for in the present, including how to act on them in the near future. The affective prediction hypothesis implies that responses signalling an object's salience, relevance or value do not occur as a separate step after the object is identified. Instead, affective responses support vision from the very moment that visual stimulation begins.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1325-1334
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
StatePublished - 2009


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