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Centre for Cognition & Decision Making invites you to the lecture «Neural processing of conscious and unconscious somatosensory stimulation»

 

Dear Colleagues!

 

Centre for Cognition & Decision Making invites you to the lecture

 

«Neural processing of conscious and unconscious somatosensory stimulation»

 

by

 

Arno Villringer

 

 Director of Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany


By far most of the sensory input to our body escapes conscious detection; fundamental questions regarding the access to conscious perception and the differential neural processing of conscious and unconscious stimuli are still poorly understood.

For the somatosensory system (i) we elucidate factors which determine access to consciousness and (ii) we study the consequences of conscious versus unconscious perception:

(i) Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography during electrical finger stimulation, we show that – beside features of the stimulus – access to conscious perception is determined by behavioral factors (attention), neural factors (alpha rhythm), but also features of the body, especially the heart. We demonstrate that there is a complex interaction between these factors.  We furthermore provide evidence that the somatosensory system can be modulated externally with non-invasive transcranial stimulation altering the access to conscious experience. Based on lesion studies in patients after stroke, we determine which areas of the brain beyond the primary somatosensory cortex are necessary for conscious tactile perception.

(ii) We show differential behavioral and neural effects of conscious and unconscious (subliminal) stimuli on EEG patterns and fMRI activations. We show that correct decisions can be made even about non-consciously perceived stimuli and we demonstrate that somatosensory brain areas can be activated by visual input.

Selected References

Kühn et al. 2018 J Neurosci. 38(5):1295-1310.

Forschack et al. 2017; J Neurosci 37:6983-6994

Preusser et al. 2015; Brain 138:540-8

Nierhaus et al.  2015; J Neurosci 35:5917-25

Schubert et al. 2009; J Cogn Neurosci 21:2407-19

 

Blankenburg et al. 2003; Science 299(5614):1864

 

Please, spread the news among your colleagues and students!  


Date: 12 .03.2019

Time: 16.00

Address: Myasnitskaya ul., 11

Room: 518

 

If you need a pass to the HSE, please contact Anastasia Plotnikova via email: avplotnikova@hse.ru