• wednesday, 22 march 2023—12:15

    From conscious experience to brain activity, and return

    Claire Sergent, Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition Center, Université de Paris

    When we contrast how the brain processes the same external stimulation according to whether we report it as perceived or not, we observe a whole series of neural events that correlate with this conscious report. One of the challenges we are now facing in consciousness research is to identify, among these correlates, what corresponds to core mechanisms of conscious access, and distinguish them from upstream events, such as early sensory processing, that influence the future conscious or unconscious fate of an information, and from downstream events that reflect a mere consequence of conscious access, such as the possibility to engage in explicit decision-making tasks or reports. Here I will present the results of two experimental approaches that we are currently developing in my team to perform this dissection, and I will discuss their potential for identifying neural signatures of conscious access independent of report. These new developments call for an extension of functional perspectives on consciousness such as the global workspace model, to explain conscious experience beyond task-related processes.

    external seminar