Predictions, Goals, and Stereotypes in Conscious Perception

February 2011

Perception is the main interface between the mind and the world. In recent years, cognitive neuroscience has investigated the influence of predictions, associations, goals, desires, and moods on perception, in domains as diverse as racial categorization, object categorization, and the perception of faces, color, time, and distance. We bring together researchers from philosophy, cognitive and social psychology, and neuroscience to address the following questions: What kinds of cognitive and neural mechanisms integrate predictions with new inputs? How do these mechanisms interact with ill-grounded stereotypes? What impact do prior states that affect perception have on conscious experience? Are ecological approaches to perception at odds with the idea that perception is a reliable guide to truth? How should rational credences be updated in response to conscious perception, in light of the influence on them by prior states?