In a recent Ted Talk, neuroscientist Anil Seth revealed irrefutable proof that conscious reality is not shaped by the world around us. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Our brain hallucinates our reality into being. It uses past experiences and sensory data to make a series of predictions about the outside world. Through this process, it generates the world.
The world we experience comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in. ~ Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom
The Brain Creates Conscious Reality
Backed by various scientific experiments, Seth explains the process in which the brain creates what we perceive as our conscious reality. The brain uses sensory information in the world to help it form its best predictions about what is possible. Additionally, it assimilates our experiences of the physical body and applies that to our perception of the self. All of these experiences are further shaped by the biological functions that keep us alive.
What we consciously see depends on the brain’s guess of what’s out there. Our experienced world comes from the inside out not just the outside in. This applies to our experiences of what is and what is not our body. These self-related predictions depend critically on sensory signals coming from deep inside the body.
Seth believes that once the brain has made its predictions, it hallucinates an experience that we perceive as reality. Thus, in a sense, we are predicting ourselves and our world into existence in real-time.