Talk 6th Feb: Mark Haselgrove

Mark Haselgrove from the University of Nottingham will be giving a seminar on Thursday 6th February on

Effects of predictability and uncertainty on human and animal learning

The causal structure of the world is annoyingly variable. Sometimes events are well predicted by other events (such as the sound of a clap of thunder being predicted by the sight of a bolt of lightning). At other times, however, there is greater uncertainty associated with events (such as the relationship between a financial investment and its payoff). I will describe a series of experiments conducted with human and non-human animals that look at the effects of predictiveness and uncertainty on stimulus processing (attention). Studies of learning in pigeons and rats reveal, paradoxically, that cues that are either good predictors of outcomes or uncertain predictors of outcomes can enjoy an enhancement in attention. An application of this work to humans has revealed the role of learning on attention in spatial navigation, including the representation of allocentric space. If time permits I shall conclude with a description of some recent experiments that reveal a disruption of learned variations in attention in individual that are high in characteristics of schizotypy.

Time: 1pm
Place: Meteorology GU01

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