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Moshe Bar; Contextual associations in the brain: past, present and future. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):981. doi: 10.1167/10.7.981.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Objects in our environment tend to appear in typical contexts and configurations. The question of how the brain forms, represents and activates such contextual associations to facilitate our perception, cognition and action is fundamental. In recent years, we have characterized many aspects of the cortical mechanisms that mediate contextual associations, and this topic has received a much needed surge of attention that resulted in numerous findings by our community. The purpose of this talk is to overview what has been achieved in this research program so far; bridge findings that on the face of things may seem contradictory; discuss far-reaching implications that go from vision all the way to the brain's “default network” and to the relationship between associative thinking and mood regulation; and, finally, list critical milestones that should be met in coming years so that vision and memory are better connected, feedforward and feedback processes are better integrated, and more about the contextual cortical network is illuminated.
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