Merav AhissarPr Hebrew University -Jerusalem-Israel
Perceptual priors explain acquisition of high-level skills and its failure – in the general population, autism and dyslexia by Merav Ahissar
Summary: Quick updating of predictions (sensory and motor plans) – within .5-~3 sec, based on recent information, is crucial for adequate sensory-motor actions (like driving) and for social skills (on-line interactions with people). By contrast, inferences based on long-term stimuli statistics allow the formation of complex categories allowing fluent use of language, and acquisition of expertise. Analyzing performance in serial pitch discrimination we find that individuals with autism have difficulties with the former, whereas individuals with dyslexia have difficulties with the latter (Lieder et al., Nature Neurosci, 2019). A similar pattern is found in sensorimotor synchronization, where individuals with autism are slow in error correction, and hence fail in synchronization to external beats. Finally, studying the underlying neural mechanisms, we find that dynamics of inference is mirrored in the dynamics of cortical adaptation processes.