• Wednesday, June 10th 2020 at 16:00 - 17:00 UK (Other timezones)
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Metacognition, the ability to reflect on our own cognition and mental states, is a critical component of human subjective experience, and operates across many hierarchical levels of abstraction”encompassing “local” confidence in isolated decisions to “global” self-beliefs about our abilities and skills, and even more global constructs such as self-esteem. Alterations in metacognition are often considered foundational to neurological and psychiatric disorders, but it has historically been difficult to isolate and quantify metacognition independently of other cognitive performance features. I will present an initial large-scale study employing a transdiagnostic computational approach for identifying links between symptom dimensions and metacognitive abilities. However, a major determinant of human behaviour is not only “local” confidence in isolated decisions, but also an overall sense of confidence about our abilities and skills which I refer to as “global” self-beliefs. In a series of behavioural and neuroimaging studies, I show that human subjects can incorporate local decision confidence to form global self-beliefs over time, while also pervasively underestimating their performance in the absence of feedback. I will further show that subjects with low self-esteem report lower global self-beliefs despite a similar objective performance, suggesting that global self-beliefs may be more closely related to core symptoms of psychiatric disorders than local confidence. This work uncovering the neurocognitive foundations underpinning the formation of global self-beliefs in combination with transdiagnostic approaches is likely to prove informative for understanding alterations in self-evaluation across many dimensions of psychopathology.

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Marion Rouault
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Cognitive Studies
Ecole Normale Supérieure

Marion Rouault – Global self-beliefs and mental health symptom dimensions

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