Research in Dragoi lab on unconscious stimuli published in Nature Communications and awarded 5-year NIH funding

January 7, 2021

A recent grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help fund research for the Dragoi Lab to study how unconscious information impacts brain activity and daily behavior. The grant is the result of research published in Nature Communications titled, “Cortical encoding of unconscious visual information and its impact on behavior.”

“Our daily behavior is influenced by conscious and unconscious processes,” said Valentin Dragoi, PhD, Rochelle and Max Levit Distinguished Professor in the Neurosciences. “For instance, we can still drive ourselves home despite being fully engaged in a phone conversation and apparently not paying much attention to the traffic.”

He adds, “This could be important in the future to facilitate learning by passively exposing humans to behaviorally irrelevant, unconscious information that will subsequently constitute the focus of learning.  For instance, our results imply that we can learn a complicated task or motor skill faster if we are passively, and repeatedly, exposed to elements of the task without requiring any conscious effort.”

The grant will help extend that research to further understand the neural bases of conscious and unconscious processes and their impact on perception and cognition.


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