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Notice

AISB event Bulletin Item

WHITEHEAD LECTURE, "Do we need consciousness for control?", Wed 2 Feb, Goldsmith's College

http://www.doc.gold.ac.uk/%7Emas02mb/posters/2%20-%20Osman.pdf

"Do we need consciousness for control?" by Magda Osman Goldsmith's College, London

The second Whitehead lecture of the spring term 2011 will be given by Dr. Magda Osman,  Biological and Experimental Psychology Centre, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London,  at 4pm Wednesday 2nd February and will be entitled "Do we need consciousness for control?". An abstract for the lecture and short biography for the speaker are appended below.

The lecture will take place at 4pm on Wednesday January 2nd February in the Ben Pimlott lecture theatre at Goldsmiths College .

PLEASE ADVERTISE: a colour display poster can be downloaded from 


Do we need consciousness for control?
===============================
- Dr. Magda Osman

ABSTRACT: Dynamic control environments (e.g., car driving, medical decision making, playing the stock market, operating nuclear power plants) involve goal directed decision making. That is, the decision maker choses actions that generate outcomes that build on previous decisions in order to work towards achieving a final desirable state of the environment. The problem inherent in dynamic control environments is that the decsion maker must learn to isolate the occasions in which their actions change the observed events (direct effects  slowing the spread of disease through drug intervention) from those occasions in which the changes in the environment are autonomous (indirect effects  variable rate of spread of disease). When faced with such complex decision making environments, psychological studies often report a dissociation between peoples ability to improve their control of the task environment, and their failure to provide accurate verbal descriptions of their task knowledge. I will present evidence from a series of laboratory studies showing that people do have conscious access to their decision making behaviors and, crucially meta-cogntive processes actually guide control behaviors. I argue that, despite the popularity in the cognitive sciences, there is little evidence to support the claim that control is based on implicit learning.

BRIEF BIO: Dr Osman currently holds the position of Lecturer in Experiemntal Cognitive Psychology in Biological and Experimental Psychology Centre, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. She completed by PhD from Brunel University (2001), and was a Senior Research Fellow (2001-2007) at University College London  and currently maintains an honorary position there. Her main research interests are perceptual-motor learning, decision making, reasoning and problem solving. To date, her research is concerned with the underlying mechanisms that support learning and decision making in complex dynamic environments in which people must track the effects of their actions in order to control the changing events around them. In two recent review (Osman, 2010a Psych Bull; Osman, 2010b, Controlling Uncertainty, Wiley-Blackwells) the critical issues related to complex dynamic decision making (e.g. agency, causality, prediction and control) are examined in a variety of disciplines (HCI, Machine Learning, Psychology, Engineering, and Neuroscience).