During our waking lives we are continuously exposed to a vast amount of information about the world around us. Yet somehow we make sense of this information and we consciously experience a coherent and ordered world, where life proceeds in a sequence of events with recognisable beginnings and ends. How the human mind manages to re-process continuous experience into these event-units is remarkably poorly understood. To date, the field has been held back by the significant methodological challenges to studying complex mental processes operating in naturalistic situations. The EVENTS project will address these challenges in an ambitious and interdisciplinary programme of research, involving behavioural studies (including immersive virtual reality), cutting-edge functional MRI and neuropsychology in specialised populations. Across a series of studies, EVENTS will establish how information processed in independent neural modules is combined within a mental “event model”, which is an overarching representation of the important features of any given situation . The project will discover how event models are updated and how they are instantiated in the brain. EVENTS will also define how event models shape our perception and memory of everyday situations and how they interact with stored knowledge. Finally, we will integrate these novel findings with previous disparate lines of evidence into a neurocognitive model of event processing. The knowledge generated by EVENTS will have far-reaching impact across the social, cognitive and neuro- sciences, shedding light on long-standing debates about how we internally represent the external world, how beliefs about the state of the world interact with how we perceive and remember events, and on how we perceive the passage of time. Moreover, the development of a detailed cognitive and neural model of event processing will represent a vital step towards a mechanistic account of conscious experience.
Field of science
- /social sciences/psychology/cognitive psychology/mental processes
Call for proposal
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