Imagination vs Reality and brain 'flows'

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Imagination vs Reality and brain 'flows'

#1  Postby kennyc » Dec 24, 2014 11:22 pm

Imagination, Reality Look Different in the Brain

"Turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream..."

Maybe John Lennon was onto something when he wrote those words for the Beatles' song "Tomorrow Never Knows."

It turns out that that reality and imagination flow in different directions in the brain, researchers say. The visual information from real events that the eyes see flows "up" from the brain's occipital lobe to the parietal lobe, but imagined images flow "down" from the parietal to the occipital.

"There seems to be a lot in our brains and animal brains that is directional — that neural signals move in a particular direction, then stop, and start somewhere else," said Dr. Giulio Tononi, a psychiatry professor and neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the study's co-authors. "I think this is really a new theme that had not been explored."

Optical Illusions: Your Brain Is Way Ahead of You
The finding, published in the November issue of the journal NeuroImage, may lead to a better understanding of how the brain processes short-term memories and how memory is connected to imagination, the researchers said.

By "flow," the scientists are referring to the general direction of electrical signaling of neurons in the brain. This direction is oriented against the various lobes of the brain. [Inside the Brain: A Photo Journey Through Time]

The occipital lobe sits in the lower, back part of the brain. Containing the visual cortex, this lobe's primary function is to process visual information. The parietal lobe lies above the occipital lobe, and its primary function is to integrate sensory information, such as vision, but also touch and sound. In doing so, the parietal lobe assembles elementary building bricks from so-called "lower-order" brain regions to create concepts, said Daniela Dentico, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author on the report.
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http://news.discovery.com/human/imagina ... 141214.htm
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Re: Imagination vs Reality and brain 'flows'

#2  Postby DavidMcC » Dec 28, 2014 5:13 pm

It turns out that that reality and imagination flow in different directions in the brain, researchers say. The visual information from real events that the eyes see flows "up" from the brain's occipital lobe to the parietal lobe, but imagined images flow "down" from the parietal to the occipital.

Makes sense - actually seeing things forms memories, and imagining them draws on those memories.
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