Investigating Suppression Effects in Prediction Paradigms

Summer 2016

Eena Kosik : Cognitive Science

Mentor: Robert Knight

We live in a world of noise and therefore, one of the most important functions in the brain is the ability to make predictions. Prediction is the result of using previous expectations of our surroundings to create possible interpretations of this noise. Because of the complexity of prediction, it makes sense that it has very complicated neural correlates in the brain. The literature shows mixed understandings of the neural mechanisms of prediction when paired with other factors, such as behavioral relevance. Some scientists argue that there is a prediction suppression effect, while others believe the opposite. In this project I will study the role of sensory adaptation as a result of making predictions using electroencephalography (EEG) while subjects perform tasks intended to isolate the mechanism of prediction. Because this study has not been performed previously, I hope to explain inconsistent findings in past experiments and achieve a conclusive understanding of the neural correlates of prediction.

Thank you so much to the Pergo Foundation for choosing me to be a SURF fellow for 2016. I am confident that using this summer to jump-start my honors thesis and completely engross myself in research will be a life changing experience. I am incredibly grateful to be selected and couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to be at one of the best universities in the world. By giving me this opportunity, I will be able to better understand the life as a researcher and fuel my curiosity for Cognitive Science.