DEC Colloquium

Knowing right from wrong: How metacognition drives belief change

Practical information
04 February 2020

ENS, room Jaurès, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris


To meet Stephen Fleming, please contact Catherine Tallon-Baudry:

Metacognition refers to the ability to reflect on and evaluate other cognitive processes, such as learning, memory and decision-making. It is increasingly appreciated that the capacity for metacognitive reflection is grounded in the function of higher-order prefrontal and parietal regions in the human brain. However, less attention has been paid to how metacognition is used in the control of future behaviour. In my talk I will present data from experiments that seek to understand the role of metacognition in modulating and shaping future changes of mind. Using perceptual decision-making as a model system, we characterise computations and neural substrates supporting the monitoring and revision of confidence in previous choices. By using psychophysical tricks to decouple confidence and performance, we further show that confidence in an initial decision acts to shape neural metrics of post-decisional processing obtained from MEG recordings, implying that metacognition acts as a critical moderator of future belief change. I will also explore how these processes account for variance in real-world attitudes, and how metacognitive training may provide a route towards reducing the prevalence of extreme and polarised beliefs. 


Steven Fleming