Thesis defense

On metacognition and the dynamics of selective attention

Samuel Recht
Practical information
03 December 2019

Salle Langevin


Adaptive decision-making requires precise monitoring of decision quality in light of both sensory uncertainty and the variability inherent in cognitive functions. Such monitoring, or metacognitive reasoning, can be assessed by relating subjective confidence in a perceptual decision to objective accuracy. Selective attention is a known modulator of sensory processing, and reliable metacognitive access to attention may be the key to cope with the variability of the environment. The present dissertation investigates the temporal construction of visual confidence during and after the allocation of selective attention either to a point in time (temporal attention) or to a point in space (spatial attention). In both the temporal and spatial domain, we observe that attention constrains metacognitive ability,
both during and after allocation. The robust temporal binding observed in the present thesis between attention and metacognition induces dissociations between confidence and accuracy when attention is misallocated. The empirical results presented in this work highlight a systematic inability to integrate the temporal dynamic of selective attention into metacognitive judgments.