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Making sense of time in the Human mind

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  • UserProfessor Virginie van Wassenhove, Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, CEA DRF/Joliot, INSERM, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, NeuroSpin center, 91191 Gif/Yvette, France World_link
  • ClockFriday 16 November 2018, 16:30-17:30
  • HouseGround Floor Lecture Theatre, Department of Psychology.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Louise White.

Abstract While we are all experts in “experiencing time”, introspection provides us with very little intuition regarding the neural mechanisms supporting time perception and temporal cognition. In this talk, I will discuss the importance of clocking mechanisms for the biology of the mind, and how oscillations help reframing temporalities from the perspective of the brain itself (as generator-observer of events) in opposition to that of the external observer (as information reader). I will illustrate this point by focusing on the role of oscillatory activity in low-level temporal logistics of information processing, yielding temporal order and behavioral precision. Second, I will focus on the notion that conscious timing does not linearly map onto neural timing – i.e., that temporalities are represented abstractly and intelligibly – and exemplify this with recent work focused on the generative nature of the psychological time arrow (mental time travel), and the ability to introspect about one’s self-generated timing productions (temporal metacognition).

Short Bio: Virginie van Wassenhove received her PhD in the Neurosciences and Cognitive Sciences program of the University of Maryland, College Park, USA (2004) under the direction of Prof David Poeppel. During her graduate training, she focused on the perception and cortical bases (M/EEG, fMRI) of audiovisual speech processing as an example of predictive coding in multisensory integration. During her post-graduate training, she worked with Prof Srikantan Nagarajan (UC San Francisco) on auditory learning and plasticity, with Dr Ladan Shams (UC Los Angeles) on multisensory statistical learning, with Prof Dean Buonomano (UC Los Angeles) on time perception and at Caltech with Prof Shinsuke Shimojo on gesture communication, and interpersonal interactions. Late 2008, she joined NeuroSpin and the Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit directed by Prof Stanislas Dehaene as the head of the MEG lab. In 2012, she became an INSERM group leader of the Brain Dynamics research team, in 2013, she obtained her HDR (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches; highest degree achievable in France) and became a Director of Research (DR). Her research interests currently focus on temporal cognition and multisensory perception in humans.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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