Dr. Shervin Safavi

University Postdoc
Alumni Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes
Department Computational Neuroscience

Main Focus

Perceptual multistability is a well-studied phenomenon that is elicited by exposure to particular forms of ambiguous stimuli (e.g. Necker cube, binocular rivalry). Such stimuli permit more than one (perceptual) interpretation, and, over the course of prolonged exposure, a subject typically experiences apparently spontaneous switches between one percept and the other. While this remarkable phenomenon has been studied for more than a quarter of a millennium, and has led to substantial experimental, theoretical and computational insights into sensory processing, we believe that a computational approach that incorporates the importance of value-based decisions in this phenomenon is lacking. Indeed, a substantial body of evidence suggests value plays a crucial role in perceptual multistability. For instance, percepts paired with a reward are experienced for longer durations than those that are not.  Therefore, we approach perceptual multistability in terms of a value-based decision.

Curriculum Vitae

I have a background in physics (bachelor, University of Tehran) and neuroscience (master, IMPRS for systems cognitive neuroscience; and PhD, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics).

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