How Your Past Shapes New Brain Experiences

You may have heard that you can only relate to someone or something based on your previous experiences, but what’s happening in the brain to cause that phenomenon? Past experiences sculpt the framework through which the brain navigates and interprets novel encounters, shaping our ongoing cognitive landscape. Researchers have determined that your perception is influenced by your past experiences, starting with your visual processing.  Not limited to visual processing, past experiences also affect how your eyes perceive present stimuli.

                Past actions also influence how you perceive similar situations in the present. If you saw an object that you then recognized as a tool, your brain will process the information and perceive it as a tool quickly, but in less detail than if you didn’t associate that object as a tool.  The eyes and brain perceive novel visual input more slowly, paying heightened attention to detail.

Hand Use & Visual Processing

                The brain and visual system process information faster for objects manipulable by hands compared to those only visually tangible. The brain swiftly identifies abnormalities and details in commonly manipulated objects, such as distinguishing a cup from a decorative bowl.

                Visual processing disparities indicate the brain’s selection of diverse regions for registering and processing information. How you recognize an object’s purpose dictates which brain region processes visual input and perception.

                As it turns out, seeing is believing.

Further Reading

Dick Dubbelde, Sarah Shomstein. Mugs and Plants: Object Semantic Knowledge Alters Perceptual Processing With Behavioral RamificationsPsychological Science, 2022; 095679762210974 DOI: 10.1177/09567976221097497

Also read our blog on What is Panax Ginseng?

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