LSP external seminar series

Confidence, uncertainty, and the difference

Informations pratiques
20 mars 2024

ENS, Salle Claude Froidevaux E314, troisième étage, Bâtiment Erasme, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris


Abstract: It’s widely thought that metacognitive processes monitor and represent the uncertainty in different parts of the mind and brain, enabling sophisticated forms of cognitive and behavioural control. However, theoretical models have recently stressed that metacognition and uncertainty aren’t the same thing – and there may be a variety of representations about uncertainty or ‘precision’ throughout our perceptual and cognitive systems that are separate from those involved in subjective metacognition and conscious reflection. In this talk, I will describe these theoretical ideas, and some experiments we have run examining these representations of ‘precision’, how they are manipulated by learning and expectation, and how these distinct forms of uncertainty can guide sophisticated forms of behavioural control (e.g., information seeking) while circumventing subjective metacognition altogether. In the end, work like this might raise questions about what subjective confidence is ‘for’.