Metacognition as a window into subjective affective experience

Cody A. Cushing, Hakwan Lau, Stefan G. Hofmann, Joseph E. LeDoux, Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When patients seek professional help for mental disorders, they often do so because of troubling subjective affective experiences. While these subjective states are at the center of the patient's symptomatology, scientific tools for studying them and their cognitive antecedents are limited. Here, we explore the use of concepts and analytic tools from the science of consciousness, a field of research that has faced similar challenges in having to develop robust empirical methods for addressing a phenomenon that has been considered difficult to pin down experimentally. One important strand is the operationalization of some relevant processes in terms of metacognition and confidence ratings, which can be rigorously studied in both humans and animals. By assessing subjective experience with similar approaches, we hope to develop new scientific approaches for studying affective processes and promoting psychological resilience in the face of debilitating emotional experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • affect
  • consciousness
  • mental disorders
  • metacognition
  • neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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