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Micah G. Allen receives Early Career Prize by BACN

Cognitive neuroscientist and leader of the Embodied Computation Group at CFIN, Micah G. Allen awarded Early Career Prize by The British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience (BACN).

The ‘Early Career Prize’ is awarded to young researchers who have contributed their high-standard and pioneering work to the field of cognitive neuroscience. This year, the prize goes to Micah G. Allen, Associate Professor at CFIN, Aarhus University and Cambridge University, and AIAS Fellow at AU. The aim of the prize is to reward and to recognize distinguished scholarship and research excellence undertaken over a period by a cognitive neuroscientist who is currently active in research, and who has made a substantial contribution to Cognitive Neuroscience in the UK.

The Early Career Prize’ is awarded to Micah G. Allen on 2 September 2019 at the Annual Meeting of the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience (BACN), where Micah will deliver an ‘Early Career lecture’ on ‘Interoceptive Self-Inference: An Embodied Approach to Computational Psychiatry’. 

Our ability to learn from an ever-changing, volatile world is essential. Convergent evidence suggests that deficits in the ability to update beliefs in the face of such uncertainty may underpin a variety of psychiatric illnesses.

In parallel, we know that many such disorders are accompanied by profound somatic and visceral disruptions, and these are in turn underpinned by the very same neural machinery which encodes decision uncertainty. Here, I will present evidence that metacognitive awareness of uncertainty is biased by visceral arousal.

On the basis of these findings, we recently proposed a new computational model of "interoceptive self-inference", in which the brain samples the volatility of visceral rhythms to predict future decision uncertainty. On this basis, we argue that disordered interoceptive beliefs and/or visceral sensation can both act to produce pervasive decision biases such as those which characterize the major mood and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Micah Allen, Associate Professor and  AIAS Fellow
Phone: +44 07473513511

Embodied Computation Group
Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN) and

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)  

Aarhus University