Relationship between interoceptive awareness and metacognitive abilities in nearthreshold visual perception.

Research project objectives The following project investigates the relationship between interoceptive awareness and metacognitive abilities in the context of near-threshold visual perception. In the set of studies an influence of getting access to cardiac activity following Type 1 perceptual decision (i.e. visual judgment) on a Type 2 perceptual decision (i.e. metacognitive judgment) would be explored. Conscious access to interoceptive (i.e. cardiac) information is expected to increase an accuracy of the metacgontive judgements about the Type 1 perceptual decision.

Research project methodology The four proposed experiments would verify several hypothesis concerning: relationship between heart-rate variability following correct and incorrect Type 1 perceptual response in the near-threshold visual detection task (Study 0); an influence of cardiac feedback in an auditory form on Type 1 perceptual decision accuracy (Study 1); differences in metacognitive abilities between experienced minfulness meditators and non-meditating control group (Study 2); as well as an impact of interoceptive awareness training on metacognitive judgements abilities (Study 3).

Expected impact Confirming the hypothesis about relationship between interoceptive awareness and metacognitive abilities could be a starting point to design training enhancing metacognitive abilities by increasing interoceptive awareness. It could be especially useful to reduce metacognitive impairments accompanying such syndromes like schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Moreover, the following project might deliver some new arguments in the on-going debate about relationship between ANS activity and error awareness directionality. If delivering interocpetive (i.e. cardiac) feedback would increase error detection accuracy (i.e. metacognitive judgement) it would be an argument for error awareness being causally dependent on error-evoked ANS response. Finally, the project propose a new perspective on widely debated intero-exteroceptive integration and its importance for conscious perception and subjective experience in general.

Project under supervision of Michał Wierzchoń.