|Résumé :||Is it possible to learn without awareness? If so, what can learn without awareness, and what are the different mechanisms that differentiate between learning with and without consciousness? How can best measure awareness?
Here are a few of the many questions that I have attempted to investigate during the past few years. The main goal of this thesis was to explore the differences between conscious and unconscious learning. Thus, I will expose the behavioral and computational explorations that we conducted during the last few years. To present them properly, I first review the main concepts that, for almost a century now, researchers in the fields of neuroscience have formulated in order to tackle the issues of both learning and consciousness. Then I detail different hypotheses that guided our empirical and computational explorations. Notably, a few series of experiments allowed identification of several mechanisms that participate in either unconscious or conscious learning. In addition we explored a computational framework for explaining how one could learn unconsciously and nonetheless gain subjective access to one’s mental events. After reviewing the unfolding of our investigation, I detail the mechanisms that we identified as responsible for differences between learning with and without consciousness, and propose new hypotheses to be evaluated in the future.