The proactive brain and the fate of dead hypotheses

Amir Tal, Moshe Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A substantial portion of information flow in the brain is directed top-down, from high processing areas downwards. Signals of this sort are regarded as conveying prior expectations, biasing the processing and eventual perception of incoming stimuli. In this perspective we describe a framework of top-down processing in the visual system in which predictions on the identity of objects in sight aid in their recognition. Focus is placed, in particular, on a relatively uncharted ramification of this framework, that of the fate of initial predictions that are eventually rejected during the process of selection. We propose that such predictions are rapidly inhibited in the brain after a competing option has been selected. Empirical support, along with behavioral, neuronal and computational aspects of this proposal are discussed, and future directions for related research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Issue numberNovember
StatePublished - 3 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Tal and Bar.


  • Ambiguity resolution
  • Competition suppression
  • Negative priming
  • Object recognition
  • Predictions
  • Top-down
  • Visual processing


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