Our team is composed of cognitive scientists working on the neurobiological and psychological foundations of consciousness.
We are especially interested in how conscious and unconscious processes differ at both the psychological and neural level. We use various behavioral methods (e.g., priming, psychophysics) and brain imaging techniques (e.g., fMRI, EEG) to study how humans process things unconsciously (e.g., as in situations of subliminal perception, sleep or hypnosis) and compare it to situations of conscious processing. This approach offers the opportunity to understand the limits and extents of unconscious processes, the functional and physiological specificity of consciousness and, ultimately, why we need to be conscious at all.
Our research follows four main axes:
- Unconscious perception : we study how the human brain processes information in the absence of consciousness. Our research uses unconscious stimulation methods such as subliminal priming, visual masking and crowding. We also study the depth of processing and learning capacities during sleep.
- Perceptual awareness : our research focuses on the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying conscious access, and the transition from unconscious contents to the conscious content. We are interested in taxonomy of states of consciousness, and in particular the possibility of an intermediate form called partial consciousness, engaging specific bayesian mechanisms.
- Consciousness in infants : we study the development of consciousness in the babies, as well as its links with the parallel development of language and learning mechanisms, and metacognition.
- Introspection: we study introspection, which corresponds to a reflexive form of consciousness, as well as its neural basis.