The brain performs feats of math to make sense of the world

August 29, 2016

Princeton University researchers show in a new study how our brains combine complicated observations from our surroundings into a simple assessment of the situation that aids our behavior and decisions. This boiled-down representation also is flexible enough to account for new information as it becomes available.

The researchers found that our brains can accurately track the likelihood of several different explanations for what we see around us. They traced these abilities to a region of the brain located just behind our eyes known as the orbitofrontal cortex.

Associate Professor Yael Niv co-authored the study, which was published July 2016 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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The brain performs feats of math to make sense of the world
A Probability Distribution over Latent Causes, in the Orbitofrontal Cortex

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