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Guest Speaker: Perceptual anticipation as foundation of social cognition, Professor Patric Bach, University of Aberdeen

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Location: On-line Email for link

Speaker: Professor Patric Bach, Chair of Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen

Title: Perceptual anticipation as foundation of social cognition

Host: Dr Friederike Schlaghecken


Recent proposals argue that our understanding of other people’s behavior emerges from a predictive process that “paints” others’ future behaviour and their knowledge of the world onto ones’ own perceptual system. I will report data from two experimental paradigms that support such views. These studies show, first, that people’s understanding of others’ behaviour is guided by perceptual anticipations of their forthcoming actions. These anticipations can be made visible as subtle distortions of a perceived action’s path towards those expectations. Second, they show that perceptual expectations of another’s sensory input also underlie people’s ability to take others’ perspective, providing a view how the world looks to them that can support own decision making. Together, these findings argue for a framework in which perceptual anticipations play a key role in social cognition and provide one with insights into others knowledge of the world and their future behaviour.

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