The Three Levers of Perceptual Inference: Towards Embodied Computational Psychiatry

Talk by Micah Allen, University College London

2017.01.19 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 07 Mar
Time 11:00 13:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312

Our conscious perception of the world is the basis for decision-making, emotion, and ultimately, our subjective well-being. A comprehensive, computational approach to understanding how such perception arises would therefor represent a major milestone for cognitive science. Indeed, the nascent field of computational psychiatry, which seeks to rediscover psychiatric illnesses in terms of their underlying (and often hidden) computational mechanisms, promises to revolutionise how we understand, diagnose, and treat mental illness. In this talk, I will present a comprehensive model of how both subjective perception and meta-cognitive decisions arise from the machinery of perceptual inference. Under this view, perceptual decision making can be decomposed into the contribution of three mechanistic 'levers', which dictate the integration of sensory information with subjective beliefs, as titrated by ongoing visceral-somatic states. I will present a series of ongoing studies from our lab showing evidence for various parts of this model, as well as a preview of our latest work which seeks to combine all of these variables into a single experimental framework. Our hope is that this framework can then be applied to yield new understandings of disorders such as anxiety, psychosis, and depression.

Contact: Research Associate Micah Allen

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience & Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging, University College London