Top-down Effects in Visual Perception

M. Bar, A. Bubic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The traditional belief that our perception is determined by sensory input is an illusion. Empirical findings and theoretical ideas from recent years indicate that our experience, memory, expectations, goals, and desires can substantially affect the appearance of the visual information that is in front of us. Indeed, our perception is equally shaped by the incoming bottom-up information that captures the objective appearance of the world surrounding us, as by our previous knowledge and personal characteristics that constitute different sources of top-down perceptual influences. The present chapter focuses on such feedback effects in visual perception, and describes how the interplay between prefrontal and posterior visual cortex underlies the mechanisms through which top-down predictions guide visual processing. One major conclusion is that perception and cognition are more interactive than typically thought, and any artificial boundary between them may be misleading.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Neuroscience
EditorsK. Ochsner, S.M. Kosslyn
PublisherOxford University Press USA
ISBN (Print)9780199988693
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameThe Oxford Handbook Series


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