Seminar Series

Simulation of another person's behaviour: Effects on attention, emotion and personal-trait judgments

The talk has two components, reflecting some of my recent research interests. The first section discusses situations where another person's gaze shift triggers automatic orienting of attention by the observer such that both people attend to the same object. Not only does the joint attention shift facilitate processing of the attended object, but it also appears to influence emotional responses to the object. In the second part of the talk action simulation processes are described. Observing another person perform an action appears to activate similar action systems in the observer. The effect of this is to facilitate an action if it is similar to one just observed. It also seems to be the case that the participant's more fluent visuomotor processes can be misattributed to the perceived person, affecting subsequent decisions about their personality.