Read the rest
...Predictive processing argues that perception, action and cognition are the outcome of computations in the brain involving both bottom-up and top-down processing – in which prior knowledge about the world and our own cognitive and emotional state influence perception.
In a nutshell, the brain builds models of the environment and the body, which it uses to make hypotheses about the source of sensations. The hypothesis that is deemed most likely becomes a perception of external reality. Of course, the prediction could be accurate or awry, and it is the brain’s job to correct for any errors – after making a mistake it can modify its models to account better for similar situations in the future.
But some models cannot be changed willy-nilly, for example, those of our internal organs. Our body needs to remain in a narrow temperature range around 37°C, so predictive processing achieves such control by predicting that, say, the sensations on our skin should be in line with normal body temperature. When the sensations deviate, the brain doesn’t change its internal model, but rather forces us to move towards warmth or cold, so that the predictions fall in line with the required physiological state.
British design company Mainframe created this odd little video called “For Approval.” It features objects that subvert the laws of physics in weird and unexpected ways.
Thomas Blanchard created this deeply trip video, "The Colors of Feelings," using paint, oil, milk, honey, and cinnamon. Read the rest
The lava lamp turns 50 this year! The product's inventor, Edward Craven Walker, was inspired by a Christmas ornament containing oil and water. This month in 1963, he launched his company, now called Mathmos, named after the lava lake in Barbarella. Check out an early prototype below. Read the rest
As part of an effort to understand the spread of a potentially deadly canine parasite, researchers at the University of Exeter put LEDs and glow-in-the-dark paint on 450 garden snails and proceeded to film them over the course of 72 hours.
The result is kind of gorgeous and mesmerizing, as tiny points of colored light meander in time lapse through the snails' natural habitat.
Besides the trippy display of gastropod activity, the researchers also learned interesting things: Like the fact that snails can cover as much as 82 feet in a day, and some snails save energy while traveling by using the slime trails left by others. Read the rest