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Spatio-Temporal Attention and Representation Tracking: the precise neural architecture of conscious object perception

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 START project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the START project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "START" about.

pressure    individuals    idiosyncratic    keep    blink    encoded    tackle    experimental    designs    sometimes    emerges    time    combines    insights    representations    memory    carefully    select    governing    variability    fail    neural    perception    sampling    summary    convolutional    faces    amplified    shortcoming    salient    critical    objects    data    model    days    neuronal    deep    eeg    distractors    inter    fill    implications    underpinnings    variations    reveal    networks    performance    recollection    meanderings    world    sounds    consciously    conscious    disease    representational    multivariate    precise    impaired    attentional    pattern    explanations    exhibit    recognise    survival    unknown    elucidating    rely    subtleties    patterns    clinical    brain    recordings    spatio    trials    precisely    limited    fmri    visual    track    mind    strengths    models    dynamics    theories    individual    consciousness    start    mechanisms    first    health    gap    thresholds    adaptive    isolation    trial    temporal    understandings   

Project "START" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Edgbaston
postcode: B15 2TT

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙466˙014 €
 EC max contribution 1˙466˙014 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM UK (BIRMINGHAM) coordinator 1˙466˙014.00


 Project objective

The ability to consciously recognise faces, objects, or sounds is crucial for adaptive behaviour and survival. Yet, how our conscious experience of the world emerges in our brain remains unknown. The overall aim of the START programme is to fill an important gap in our understanding of consciousness by elucidating the neural underpinnings of conscious access. How does the brain select relevant information among distractors, and keep this information in mind? Why does our ability to consciously recognise salient objects sometimes fail under pressure and exhibit variability across days and individuals? Current theories of conscious access thus far rely on EEG recordings or fMRI measurements, which in isolation offer limited insights into the precise neural dynamics of conscious access. A further shortcoming of current models is their limited explanations for inter-trial and inter-individual variations in conscious access thresholds. START will tackle these challenges using attentional blink tasks involving the perception and recollection of visual objects. First, it will precisely track where in the brain and when in time the representations critical for conscious access are established, by using a novel approach which combines the strengths of EEG, fMRI, and Deep Convolutional Neuronal Networks. Second, START will reveal how activity patterns are amplified by the brain and encoded in working memory using multivariate pattern analyses of EEG data and novel experimental designs. Finally, START will carefully model variability in task performance across trials and participants using a new approach of representational sampling. In summary, START will provide new insights on the precise spatio-temporal dynamics of conscious access, the mechanisms governing it, and the idiosyncratic subtleties behind the meanderings of consciousness. This has deep implications for our understandings of brain health and disease, especially in clinical cases where consciousness is impaired.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 C.S. Ferreira, I. Charest, M. Wimber
Retrieval aids the creation of a generalised memory trace and strengthens episode-unique information
published pages: 115996, ISSN: 1053-8119, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.07.009
NeuroImage 201 2019-10-03
2019 Daniel Lindh, Ilja G. Sligte, Sara Assecondi, Kimron L. Shapiro, Ian Charest
Conscious perception of natural images is constrained by category-related visual features
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12135-3
Nature Communications 10/1 2019-10-03
2018 Ian Charest, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Kendrick N. Kay
GLMdenoise improves multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data
published pages: 606-616, ISSN: 1053-8119, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.08.064
NeuroImage 183 2019-10-03
2019 Radoslaw M. Cichy, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Kamila M. Jozwik, Jasper J.F. van den Bosch, Ian Charest
The spatiotemporal neural dynamics underlying perceived similarity for real-world objects
published pages: 12-24, ISSN: 1053-8119, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.03.031
NeuroImage 194 2019-10-03

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