Latent Causes, Prediction Errors, and the Organization of Memory
Yael Niv, Ph.D.Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Princeton University
Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.
No two events are exactly 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. Yael Niv and her colleagues have suggested that this relies on an implicit parsing of incoming information into ‘clusters’ according to inferred hidden (latent) causes. Moreover, they have proposed that unexpected information (that is, a prediction error) is key to this separation into clusters.
In this talk, Niv will demonstrate these ideas through behavioral experiments showing evidence for clustering in animals and humans and by illustrating the effects of prediction errors on the organization of memory. Finally, she will tie the different findings together into a hypothesis about how our brains organize information about events.
To attend this in-person event, you will need to register in advance and provide:
- Acceptable proof of vaccination (vaccine card/certificate, a copy or photo of vaccine card/certificate or electronic NYS Excelsior Pass or NJ Docket Pass)
- Photo ID
- Eventbrite ticket confirmation email with QR code
- Simons Foundation Health Screening Questionnaire approval email
Guests are expected to complete these requirements each time they visit the Simons Foundation and entrance will not be granted without this documentation.
On-site registration will not be permitted. Walk-in entry will be denied.