Dr. Lucia Melloni

Dr. Lucia Melloni


BA PsychologyCatholic University, Chile
BA Social Sciences & HumanitiesCatholic University, Chile
PhDCatholic University, Chile and MPI for Brain Research, Frankfurt


Post-doctoral fellowDepartment of Neurology, Goethe University

Talk title: From continuous streams to segmented units: Understanding how events structure cognition and memory

While perceptual information arrives in a more-or-less continuous manner over time, our mind apprehends coherent and bounded subsequences that have beginnings, middles and ends and feel extended over time. For example, speech unfolds continuously without pauses between words, yet we understand meaningful units, at multiple hierarchical level, such as phonemes, syllables, words, and sentences, and ‘hallucinate’ pauses at the rate of those perceived mental units. A core problem has been to understand how and why the continuous flow of experience is partitioned in this way. In this talk I will present studies in which we have used invasive and non-invasive electrophysiology and computational modelling in tasks involving artificial sequences and visual narratives to shed light into the computations and brain mechanism mediating segmentation and encoding of sequences with the larger goals of  understanding the building blocks of our temporal experience and why time feels the way it does, e.g., how we can apprehend, feel, and marvel at the temporal structure of music.

About Dr. Lucia Melloni:

Prof. Lucia Melloni is a Group Leader at Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Department of Neuroscience, Frankfurt and a Research Professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Her lab is broadly interested in understanding the neural underpinnings of how we see (perception), how and why we experience what we see (consciousness), and how those experiences get imprinted in our brain (learning and memory) – as well as the interplay between these processes. She uses multiple methods to address these questions, ranging from electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods to behavioral techniques and online surveys. Her lab is committed to team science and open science practices and leads a large-scale adversarial collaboration to unravel the neural basis of consciousness and what makes us humans.