Sid Kouider, ENS Paris, France
Neural dynamics of prediction, surprise and consciousness in infants
Abstract: My talk will focus on whether and how infants 1) experience perceptual consciousness, 2) rely on bayesian inference to monitor surprising events in their environnement , and 3) monitor conflicts linked to they own behavioral errors. I will first describe how one can test for perceptual consciousness in infants by relying on neural signatures of consciousness validated in adult populations. Our studies confirm the presence of these neural signatures in 5 to 15 month-old infants, but also reveal that the temporal dynamics of these mechanisms is extremely slow compared to adult populations. Then, I will describe how EEG recordings combined with cross-modal cueing paradigms can be used to track the impact of predictions on the infant visual system. Our results reveal that the infants brain deals with predictive codes using two distinct and consecutive modes: first, by enhancing the gain of sensory signals for expected events, and then by triggering global responses to surprising events in the environment. Finally, I will show how error-related electrophysiological signatures previously used in adults can be used to track infants neural responses to their own conflict. I will conclude on perspectives for learning and education.