Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique
Developmental cognitive neuroscience constitutes a booming new field in which researchers are probing the functional architecture of the infant brain. Babies can’t talk and tell us what they think about, but now thanks to new non-invasive methods such as high-density electroencephalography (EEG), it becomes possible to probe the electrophysiological signatures of major cognitive functions (perception, attention, memory, inferences, language understanding, etc). These electrophysiological signatures are called event-related potentials and correspond to specific patterns in the EEG signal. Here, we will attempt to answer the two fundamental issues of whether infants have a capacity for metacognition (do they know they know) and whether they experience self-consciousness (do they feel themselves as a unitary entity). Examining these self-reflection mechanisms, through implicit behaviours and EEG brain responses, will address the issue of whether humans in the initial state have a primitive self, or are actually unconscious about their own person.