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Equipe Vision et Emotion, Research

EXPER: Elucidating how expectations shape subjective perception – EXPER

Current models of cognitive functioning consider visual perception as a proactive process which is not only determined by the characteristics of sensory inputs, but also strongly depends on expectations we have about them. However, the extent to which what we know influence what we see it still a matter of intense debate. The EXPER project aims to address this issue and provide a comprehensive understanding of how expectations (and more broadly cognition) shape visual perception. Our main working hypothesis is that expectations qualitatively affect subjective perception (i.e. how well we see or even what we see). We will test this through a series of psychophysical experiments involving subjective reports on the appearance of expected and unexpected visual stimuli (objects in context), while taking into account various viewing constraints (e.g., processing time, visual noise). We will also address the neural correlates of these effects for the first time, as well as their functional consequences during scene viewing, using EEG recording and eye tracking. This project will have important theoretical implications in the context of the long-standing debate on whether cognition influence perception. It will also shed lights on what determines subjective perception of expected or unexpected visual stimuli under normal viewing conditions and how it may be affected by noise or sensory loss (e.g., while driving on the foggy night, will our perception be dominated by the expected cars or the unexpected presence of a pedestrian on the road?). Results of this project will also have wider applications as the mechanisms investigated here are thought to apply to other sensory modalities and to dysfunction in some psychiatric or developmental disorders. In this context, EXPER also aims to provide robust experimental paradigms that can be easily adapted to quantify these effects in other modalities and populations.

See the publications on the HAL-ANR Portal

Coordinateur du projet

Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2023 - 48 Months

Submitted on 15 November 2023

Updated on 15 November 2023