Vortrag von Caspar M. Schwiedrzik (Göttingen): "Learning and testing abstract perceptual predictions in neural circuits"

Wann 11.06.2019
von 18:00 bis 20:00
Wo GEMI, Raum 1.134
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Affective Neuroscience and Psychophysiology 




Dr. Caspar M. Schwiedrzik

(European Neuroscience Institute & German Primate Center, Göttingen)


11.06.2019 18:00 - 20:00 — GEMI, Raum 1.134

Learning and testing abstract perceptual predictions in neural circuits


Our environment contains statistical structure at various scales. This offers rich opportunity for the brain to exploit this structure for efficient ways to code and process information, and ultimately to improve perception. Theories that pose perception as an inference process suggest that previous experience enables making predictions about upcoming events and testing them against actual sensory inputs. However, the precise neural mechanisms underlying perceptual inference remain a matter of debate. I will present experiments investigating how cortical networks and single neurons implement perceptual inference, employing functional magnetic resonance imaging, electrocorticography, single unit recordings, and pupillometry in monkeys and humans. Using the cortical system dedicated to face processing as a starting point, I will show that sensory predictions are generated in hierarchical networks of brain areas, and that single neurons in high-level visual cortex can compute prediction errors. Importantly, the hierarchical structure of visual processing pathways that gives rise to invariant representations, e.g., of faces, allows constructing internal models for abstract predictions not bound to the specific low-level features of learned stimuli. This equips sensory areas with a machinery for generalization previously ascribed only to higher-order association cortices. Together, these studies provide insight into candidate mechanisms for perceptual inference.