The Computations and Neural Correlates of Subjective Perceptual Experiences
The brain is constantly processing and filtering signals from our multiple sensory modalities to build an internal model of the world around us so that we can behave adaptively and survive. Amazingly, these computations bring with them a sense that there is “something it is like” to experience the world: we have qualitative experiences of brightness, color, pain, or clarity of vision. How do our brains give rise to these phenomenal experiences? What computations are involved, and how do different brain regions support these computations? We can begin to unravel these questions by drawing insights from psychophysics, computational modeling methods, and neuroimaging (ECoG, fMRI) in humans and in non-human animals. In this talk, Dr. Peters will discuss evidence from studies linking perceptual and metacognitive computations to conscious awareness, with a focus on the theoretical tools, experimental methods, and analytic approaches that have the greatest potential to reveal fundamental insights about the neural computations underlying our subjective sense of the world.