On March 11th 2021, David Richter successfully defended his thesis “Prediction throughout visual cortex: How statistical regularities shape sensory processing”. He investigated how expectations influence sensory processing throughout the sensory brain by performing fMRI experiments and making use of statistical learning paradigms. His work focused in particular on the phenomenon ‘expectation suppression’ that refers to an attenuation of neural activity in response to an expected stimulus compared to an unexpected stimulus. His thesis can be found here where you can read and download the dissertation in pdf format. David continues to work in the lab as a post-doc researching the neural correlates of consciousness.

Accompanying the defense, David Richter and Floris de Lange organized an online symposium “Statistical learning: How does the brain learn and predict the sensory world?” on March 12th 2021. The talks addressed the question how the brain learns statistical regularities and predicts sensory input across different modalities. The speakers were Clare Press (Birkbeck University of London, UK), Ram Frost (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel), Maria Chait (University College London Ear Institute, UK), Heleen Slagter (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Nicholas Turk-Browne (Yale University, USA).

Many congratulations, David!