The main goal of WP5 is to understand how different manipulations of top-down control (i.e. sleep deprivation, a belief manipulation and exhausted self-control) affect bottom-up influences on human decisions. Furthermore, we want to understand the brain mechanisms involved in such top-down influences. To address these issues, we will independently manipulate the degree to which bottom-up and top-down sources influence human decisions, using different paradigms. In the first part of the project we will investigate the role of consciousness on bottom-up influences. In the second part we will investigate how manipulating intentional involvement in a decision affects the strength of bottom-up influences. We will use behavioral as well as brain activation measures. On the brain level, we will carry out multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to predict intentional decisions from brain activity. This new technique allows determining the brain areas carrying predictive information at different points in time. Furthermore, this method allows computing the accuracy with which a decision can be predicted from brain activity before participants become aware of their decision. This will enable us to quantify the degree of bottom-up and top-down influences on human decisions.


Mechanisms of conscious and unconscious learning