Professor Yael Niv | Latent causes, prediction errors, and the organization of memory

Mind Meeting

  • Date: Dec 12, 2022
  • Time: 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Professor Yael Niv
  • Princeton University, NJ, USA
  • Location: MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
  • Room: Zoom Meeting
  • Host: Department of Psychology
  • Contact:
No two events are 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. We have suggested that this relies on parsing of incoming information into “clusters” according to inferred hidden (latent) causes. Moreover, we have suggested that unexpected information (that is, a prediction error) is key to this separation into clusters. In this talk, I will demonstrate these ideas through behavioral experiments showing evidence for clustering in animals and humans, and illustrating the effects of prediction errors on the organization of memory. I will then tie the different findings together into a hypothesis about how information about events is organized in our brain.

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