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How does surprise influence cognition and behavior?

Descripción del proyecto

El aspecto «curioso» de las señales de sorpresa

La curiosidad es el principal impulsor del aprendizaje. En la vida, esto puede apreciarse en todos los esfuerzos para comprender y predecir acontecimientos futuros, así como para verificar expectativas, creencias y modelos cognitivos. Además, la sorpresa (la distancia entre las creencias presentes y pasadas de una persona) provoca una respuesta emocional que estimula la curiosidad intensamente. Sin embargo, seguimos estando lejos de poder explicar los complejos mecanismos encefálicos responsables de la sorpresa. Para colmar esta brecha del conocimiento, el proyecto financiado con fondos europeos SURPRISE estudiará cómo se registra la sorpresa en los circuitos sensoriales y cómo influye en el comportamiento de búsqueda de información. Se llevará a cabo un estudio plurimetódico y multiescala para examinar las señales de sorpresa fundamentales a fin de determinar sus repercusiones en la actividad conductual y cognitiva.

Objetivo

Humans, like many other species, build models of themselves and their environment, to understand the past and predict the future. These models are constantly evaluated and updated based on new, surprising input. Surprise (i.e. the distance between one’s prior and current beliefs) appears an essential ingredient in various cognitive faculties such as perception, learning, motivation and action and it strongly drives brain activity in both sub-cortical and cortical networks underlying goal-directed behavior. Yet, we currently lack a good understanding of the form and function of surprise signals in the brain.

The overall aim of this research proposal is to elucidate how surprise is computed within sensory circuits and how it influences information seeking behavior. To achieve this, I will: 1) test the theoretical proposition that surprise signals emerge from the discrepancy between prediction signals and input signals that are represented in distinct layers of the neocortex, using ultra-high field neuroimaging in human volunteers; 2) investigate how sensory surprise signals may be communicated to downstream areas to update the brain’s attentional sampling policies; and 3) investigate the relationship between sensory surprise and the explicit drive for information that we call curiosity.

This proposal bridges several levels of analysis (from laminar circuit models that calculate sensory surprise to systems neuroscience and computational models of behavior) and several cognitive domains (perception, attention, motivation and curiosity). This multi-scale and multi-method investigation of surprise signals is critical for a more complete and integrated understanding of what may be one of the most important drivers of cognition and behavior.

Régimen de financiación

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Institución de acogida

STICHTING RADBOUD UNIVERSITEIT
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 2 000 000,00
Dirección
HOUTLAAN 4
6525 XZ Nijmegen
Países Bajos

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Región
Oost-Nederland Gelderland Arnhem/Nijmegen
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Enlaces
Coste total
€ 2 000 000,00

Beneficiarios (1)