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Social Cognition.docx

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Richard B Day

June 11 , 2013 Psych 2AA3: Child Development Social Cognition Harlow’s Monkeys - Partial isolation: hear or smell others  Self-mutilation  Pacing  Catatonia  Disturbed  Stop eating - Complete isolation - Could not be rehabilitated - Terrible mothers - When isolated monkeys were with younger infant monkeys they were slightly rehabilitated - Being in a social group and interacting is necessary Big Brain Hypothesis - Humans have big brains compared to other species - Having such large brains comes at a cost  Infants are born 9 months premature  Brain tissue is expensive metabolically - Social pressures would have lead to the evolving of large brains as it takes a lot of specialized skills to live in a group  Alliance  Memory  Avoidance Social Cognition in Humans - Study interested in examining social capacities - 2 ½ year old children, adult chimpanzees and orang-utans - Physical domain  Tasks like object permanence  Memory of object location  Using a trip to achieve an award - Social domain  Understanding a person’s cue  Considering others attentional state  Following eye gaze  Communicating in order to receive food - Relatively the same in the physical domain - Young children outperformed in the social domain Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - Core deficit in the social domains - Pervasive developmental disorder - Spectrum of disorders that includes autism, Asperger’s, Rhett’s disorder, PDD-NOS - Affects 1 in 88 children; 1 in 55 boys (2012 statistics) - No medical cure detection - Deficits in three major areas:  Social  Behaviour: stereotyped behaviours, repetitiveness  Communication language - Social orientation hypothesis:  Social information is focused in younger children  Autism: fail to orient to social stimuli in their environment Social Cognitive Development in Infancy - Imitation  5-6 week olds imitate adult facial behaviours  Young infant watching an adult will be able to imitate facial expressions  Ability to interact with adults which makes it more likely that the infant will have their needs met  14 month olds prefer to look at an adult imitating their facial behaviours and gestures  Adult imitates how the child is interacting with the toy o Child is more attentive to those who are imitating their behaviour than those who are not - Humans vs. Apes  Imitation is important for social cognition  Children copy the actions as much as the chimps did  Transparent box  Apes skip the steps  Children are predisposed to copy even when it seems like these tasks are not necessary o View the grownup as a teacher o Children expect to be taught o Apes do not teach each other - Joint Attention  Individuals ability to be able to tell that he or she shares an object of attention  Infants develop the ability to follow someone’s gaze between 2-12 months  Follow point around 9 months  Implies that young infants have an understanding of other’s mental states and attention  Early developing signs of theory of mind Joint Attention and Autism - Lack of initiating or engaging in joint attention is one early indicator of autism - The Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule measures children’s response to examiner’s initiation of joint attention as well as children’s attempt to initiate joint attention  Series of tasks for young children that try to elicit social behaviours that we see others engaging in  18 months to adulthood  Typical children initiate and engage in joint attention  Autism do not initiate joint attention and have difficulty responding to others attempts to initiate joint attention Social Cognitive Development in Infancy - Social referencing  When a child turns to a trusted adult in an ambiguous situation to engage an appropriate response  Develops during the first years - Theory of mind  Smarties task  Develops around 3-4 years of age  Sally-Anne task  Language component to these tasks - Theory of mind at 15 months?  False belief task and takes out the language  Looking time tasks  Find based on looking times that children as young as 15 months have some basic understanding about false beliefs Theory of Mind and Autism - False Photo task  Difficulty on the Sally-Anne task  Turn Sally-Anne into a task that does not have a social component  Object placed on one location  Take a picture  Move object  Ask the child: where is the teddy bear in the photograph  Can children hold these two representations at the same time?  Children with autism do not have a problem with this task  Autism deficit with social cognitive skills when false information is contained within another person it is a problem for autistic children Pretend Play - Children invent their own play, imitate play - Infant must hold two different representations of reality and pretend - Piaget:  Sensory motor play: manipulating tools and toys, more functional play  Pretend play: imaging different scenarios during play - Engaging in pretend play is an early sign of more basic skills necessary for theory of mind development - Look to see if children engage in spontaneous pretend play or engage with an adult in pretend play - Lacking in autism Animacy Perception - Ability to tell which objects in the environment are inanimate and which are not - Young infants use self-propelled motion as a cue for animacy - Present infants with two screens - Contingent movement  Dots appear to be chasing each other - Independent movement  Dots are not interacting - Infants as young as 3 months can discriminate between the two scenes and prefer to look at the contingent movement (social scene) Attribution of Dispositional States - Make judgments on what kind of characteristics different things in the environment have - “Helper vs. Hinderer” experiment Kuhlmeier, Wynn, and Bloom (2003)  100% of babies prefer the more positive character  Attraction to pro-social individuals  Avoidance to anti-social individuals Intention Perception - Woodward task (Woodward, 1998)  Infants ability to understand intention  Habituated to a hand reaching for an object and picking it up  Test trial switches the location of the object  Hand reaches for new object in old location  Hand reaches for old object in new location  Look longer when the hand reaches for the new object as they understand that the hand wanted that object  9 months  Infants respond the same way no matter what the properties of the hand - Intentions and imitation (Gergly, Bekkering, & Kiraly, 2002)  14 month old  Condition A:  Hands are wrapped  Turns on light using forehead  Child will turn on the light with their hands as they understand that using your forehead is okay when you don’t have hands availabke  Condition B:  Hands are uncovered  Turns on light using forehead  Child turns on light using forehead Face Perception - One of the most important social stimuli - Faces convey a wealth of social information; identity, gender, age, group status, emotional state - Adults are “face experts”: the way we process faces is special then the way we process other objects in our environment - Fusiform face area  Other research has demonstrated that experts in another subject will have activation of the FFA  May not be specific to faces but related to object expertise  Every human is a face expert - Face inversion effect  Showing side-by-side pictures of faces and identifying whether they are the same or different  Much worse at performing this task for inverted faces  We are experts at processing up-right faces  Children with autism perform just as well with inverted faces - Holistic processing  We process faces as a whole rather than as individual features  Using composite face task  Is the top half of these faces the same or different  Easier to tell when the faces are separated  Difficult to pay attention to specific features as we process as a whole Development of Face Perception - Newborn infants prefer to look at faces compared to non-faces  2 month old infants  All stimuli presents features of a face only one is a composite face  Prefer to look at a face than a scrambled face  Help to attend to faces - Goren, Sarty, and Wu (1975)  Newborns  Using simple faces  Face, scramble and blank  Measured the degree to which infants would turn their eyes and head to follow each of the paddles  Infants move their head further to follow the face paddle rather than the other two Face Expert
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