Is sensory awareness facilitated by activity in only sensory cortices? For several decades, this has been the dominant viewpoint among many prominent voices in both neuroscience and philosophy. In this talk, I will review recent work which shows how many of the components of perceptual decision-making, including confidence, integration, and content, are all at least partially facilitated by brain regions outside early sensory areas. Drawing upon results from psychophysical, computational, neuroimaging and neurophysiological work, I will show that far from being irrelevant for perceptual experiences, frontal regions of the brain actually contain rich representations of perceptual content, and that decision-related processes and circuitry play a key role in metacognitive judgments and sensory awareness. These new results shed light on current debates about the locus of conscious perceptual experience, and open exciting new possibilities for probing this question going forward.
Research And Development
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