The property & # 39; inner pickpocket & # 39; all of us show us what an object is by just touching

Scientists say that the ability of the human brain to tell what an object is by just hitting means that there is an & # 39; inner pickpocket & # 39; property in all of us

  • University of Cambridge and Columbia University researchers evaluated data
  • People can identify objects that they have never seen before by touching them
  • They do this by interpreting the succession of minor depressions on their fingers

Researchers have determined how the human brain is able to determine the properties of a certain object from touch alone, a so-called inner pickpocket property.

This so-called inner pickpocket feature is inherent in all of us, they say, and is the reason why a thief can steal a handbag and immediately take out the most valuable item.

It depends on the brain's ability to break a continuous stream of information and turn it into smaller chunks.

This manifests itself as a bale for professional pickpockets to interpret the succession of minor depressions on their fingers separate from well-defined objects.

& # 39; In particular, the participants in our study were not selected to be professional pickpockets – so these results also suggest that there is a secret, statistically substantiated pickpocket in all of us & # 39 ;, said professor Máté Lengyel of the University of Cambridge , which co-led Research.

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Revealed: the brain can immediately identify both objects without the need for clear boundaries or other specialized directions, and predict unknown properties of new objects (stock)

Revealed: the brain can immediately identify both objects without the need for clear boundaries or other specialized directions, and predict unknown properties of new objects (stock)

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, Central European University, and Columbia University, discovered that a similar phenomenon allows people to anticipate what an object in a shop window will feel just by looking at it.

This is a visual input and not a physical signal like the customer's visual system, but works in a similar way.

Our ability to remove individual objects from messy scenes through touch or vision only and accurately predict how they will feel based on how they look, or how they look based on how they feel is crucial to how we interact with the world.

The brain performs statistical analyzes of previous experiences to immediately identify objects without the need for clear boundaries or other specialized clues.

They are then converted into predictions of the properties of the new object.

& # 39; We look at how the brain absorbs the continuous flow of information it receives and stores in objects & # 39 ;, said Professor Lengyel.

& # 39; The general view is that the brain receives specialized signals: such as edges or occlusions, about where one thing ends and another thing begins, but we have discovered that the brain is a really smart statistical machine: it looks for patterns and finds building blocks to construct objects. & # 39;

Professor Lengyel and his colleagues designed scenes of different abstract forms with no visible boundaries between the two, and asked the participants to observe the shapes on a screen or to pull them apart along a tear line that ran through or between the objects.

Insight: our ability to extract individual objects from messy scenes by touch or vision alone and accurately predicting how they will feel based on how they look, or how they look based on how they feel is crucial for how we deal with the world

Insight: our ability to extract individual objects from messy scenes by touch or vision alone and accurately predicting how they will feel based on how they look, or how they look based on how they feel is crucial for how we deal with the world

Insight: our ability to extract individual objects from messy scenes by touch or vision alone and accurately predicting how they will feel based on how they look, or how they look based on how they feel is crucial for how we deal with the world

HOW SKIN SENS

Our touch experiences are already processed by neurons in the skin before they reach the brain for further processing.

Researchers discovered that the skin itself calculates measurement data before sending signals to the brain.

It was previously thought that much more basic information had been sent.

Participants were then tested for their ability to predict the visual (how familiar were real pieces of puzzle pieces compared to abstract pieces made up of the parts of two different pieces) and the haptic properties of these pieces of puzzle (how difficult would it be to physically break apart) pick up scenes in different directions).

The researchers discovered that participants were able to form the correct mental picture of the puzzle pieces from just one of the entrances.

& # 39; These results challenge classical views on how we extract and learn objects from our environment & # 39 ;, said Professor Lengyel.

& # 39; Instead, we have demonstrated that general-purpose statistical calculations that are known to work even with the youngest babies are sufficiently powerful to achieve such cognitive performance. & # 39;

The results are reported in the open-access journal, eLife.

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