UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Virtual: Brain meeting: Professor Yael Niv

28 January 2022, 3:15 pm–4:15 pm

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Latent Causes, Prediction Errors, and the Organisation of Memory

This event is free.

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Justyna Ekert and Elisa van der Plas and Gabrielle Sheehan

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No two events are alike. But still, we learn, which means that we implicitly decide what events are similar enough that experience with one can inform us about what to do in another. My lab has suggested that this relies on an implicit parsing of incoming information into “clusters” according to inferred hidden (latent) causes. Moreover, we have suggested that unexpected information (that is, a prediction error) is key to this separation into clusters. In this talk, I will demonstrate these ideas through behavioural experiments showing evidence for clustering in animals and humans, and illustrating the effects of prediction errors on the organisation of memory. I will attempt to tie the different findings together into a hypothesis about how information about events is organised in our brain.

About the Speaker

Professor Yael Niv

at Princeton University