If your brain predicted well, then your neurons are already firing

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A note for Lesson no. 4, "Your Brain Predicts (Almost) Everything You Do," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 75 is:

If your brain has predicted well, then your neurons are already firing in a pattern that matches the incoming sense data.

This phenomenon is also known as perceptual inference, simulation, or embodied concepts. Also see these references.[1][2][3]


  1. Barsalou, Lawrence W. 2016. "On Staying Grounded and Avoiding Quixotic Dead Ends." Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 23 (4): 1122–1142.
  2. Fernandino, Leonardo, Colin J. Humphries, Mark S. Seidenberg, William L. Gross, Lisa L. Conant, and Jeffrey R. Binder. 2015. "Predicting Brain Activation Patterns Associated With Individual Lexical Concepts Based on Five Sensory-Motor Attributes." Neuropsychologia 76: 17–26.
  3. Pulvermüller, Friedemann. 2013. "How Neurons Make Meaning: Brain Mechanisms for Embodied and Abstract-Symbolic Semantics." Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (9): 458–470.