How Brain’s Expectations Affect Learning

Janice Wood:

When we are learning something new, our brains are continually making predictions about our environment, then registering whether those assumptions are true.

A new study has found that our expectations during these predictions affects the activity of various brain networks.

Neuroscientists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany recently reported their findings in two articles in the journals Cerebral Cortex and Journal of Neuroscience.

The neuroscientists say they identified two key regions in the brain involved in this process. The thalamus plays a central role in decision-making. The insular cortex, on the other hand, is particularly active when it is clear whether the right or wrong decision has been made.