Departmental seminar series
Abstract: It is well known that top-down expectations affect perceptual processes. Yet, remarkably little is known about the relationship between expectations and conscious report. In this talk I will address three crucial questions that are outstanding: 1) How do expectations affect the likelihood of conscious stimulus perception?; 2) Does the brain register violations of expectations nonconsciously?; and 3) Do expectations need to be conscious to influence perceptual decisions? Overall, our findings suggest a dissociation in the interaction between expectations and consciousness: conscious awareness seems crucial for the implementation of top-down expectations, but not for the generation of bottom-up stimulus-evoked prediction errors. Further, I will discuss to what extent top-down expectations truly affect perceptual processes, and if so at which stage in the processing chain, or whether expectation effects may partly be explained by decision biases (shifts in response criterion).
Bio: Simon van Gaal is Associate Professor at the Brain and Cognition Department at the University of Amsterdam where he co - heads the Conscious Brain Lab (https://www.consciousbrainlab.com/).
Dates & times
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