Perception, Attention & Action Projects

Nearly half TMBI members are interested in Perception, Attention & Action. There are strongly established lines of investigation on sensory perception and attention in many TMBI labs (CerCo, Octogone-Lordat, CLLE, TONIC, IRIT, ISAE, CRCA) and include research on nearly all sensory modalities (vision, audition, touch, olfaction, taste) as well as multi-sensory integration. With a diversity of species under study –from humans to non-human primates, from rodents to insects—experimental approaches are equally varied: experimental or descriptive psychology, eye-tracking, virtual reality, fMRI, EEG, TMS, electrophysiology, two-photon and calcium imaging, as well as genetic and pharmacological manipulations. This is before mentioning computational approaches in network modelling, computer vision and computational neuroscience.

Perception and action are intimately linked in daily life: perception and attention depend on active motor exploration, while nearly all motor acts involve sensory-motor coupling. A case in point is language, where speech perception and speech production are mutually dependent. Octogone-Lordat, CerCo, CLLE, and IRIT have ongoing interdisciplinary work on a wide array of linguistic research areas: perception of post-surgical (ENT cancer) pathological, motor-impaired speech; lower-level perception and higher-level cognitive processing of prosodic features involved in speech structuring (neuroimaging techniques) and modulated by attention processes; speech, prosodic and non-verbal imitation behaviors in multimodal interactional communication and second language learning.

The CerCo and CIC have strong ties to industrial partners like SpikeNET and Cochlear, that develop brain-inspired image processing systems and sensory aids. But TMBI will encourage even stronger links with AI & Computer Science. With the advent of deep learning, such collaborations will be increasingly bidirectional: not only can biology help provide engineering solutions for computer vision, artificial neural networks provide a reference model—and source of inspiration—for neuroscientific and psychological investigations.

The following projects are already funded

  • ERC Consolidator P-Cycles (Rufin Van Rullen)