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Lecture 10

lecture 10 - social cognition.docx

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McMaster University
Jeff Landry

PSYCH 2AA3- Social Cognition - June 11, 2013 - Textbook covers different content- read them! Reese Monkey isolation experiment - Isolated monkey s could not function, but with “monkey therapists” aka younger infant monkeys, there was some improvements - We can not be without social contact Big Brain hypothesis - Humans have large brains - Humans are born quite early to make up for large brains at birth – so that baby head can fit through woman pelvis - Theory that social pressures lead to large brain - Living in a groups takes a lot of brain work – a lot of specialized skills - These social pressures have lead to humans having such large brains Study- social cognition in humans - Adult chimps and orangutans and 2.5 yr old children - Physical domain- object permanence, memory of object location, etc - Social domain- understanding people’s cues, considering the attentional states of others, communicating to receive food - Physical domain- all 3 groups performed at the same level - Social domain- the children were a lot more socially competent ASD - 3 main deficits- social, behavioural, communication - Social orienting hypothesis- unlike typical children who start paying attention to social aspects of environment at a young age, ASD children fail to orient to these social stimuli – they don’t pay attention to social aspects and therefore miss out on certain experiences Imitation - Imitation is important even for older children - Video- experiment- researcher shows chimp how to unlock a box to release a treat, chimp imitates her and gets the treat o Children also copy the actions o Second part- transparent box, chimps can see that some actions aren’t needed for the treat, they just go for the treat o Children still imitated the researcher and did the pointless actions o They view the researcher as a teacher, perhaps apes don’t actually teach each other - Joint attention – individual’s ability to tell that he or she shares an object of attention with someone else o Infants start to follow eye gaze from 2-12 months, they follow points around 9 months o Joint attention implies that infants have at least some understanding of the mental states of other – early signs of theory of mind o Autism- deficit of joint attention, lack of engaging in and initiating o Diagnosis for autism at a young age usually involves activities that try to initiate social interactions such as joint attention o Study of 1 birthday videos of children later diagnosed with autism- children diagnosed around 3-4 were less likely to respond to other’s attempts to initiate joint attention and also less likely to initiate it themselves - Social referencing - Theory of mind o Smarties task- replacing smarties in a smarties box with something else and asking children what someone else would think is in the box o Sally- anne task- when sally comes back where is she gonna look for the ball- the basket (where she left it) or the box (where anne hid it) o Theory of mind at 15 months? Children also need language skills  False belief task without language- a looking time task  15 month old children have at least some understanding of false beliefs o Autism children fail sally anne task- but when social portion is taken out of it, autism children do well – this is shown through the false photo task – can children understand that what they are looking at is different from what is in the photo - Pretend play o Children don’t need to be explicitly taught how to play o Creating representations of imaginary objects or people o Some say pretend play is an early sign for early TOM development - Animacy perception o Ability to tell which objects are animate (alive) or not o Young infants use self propelled motion as a cue for animacy o If an object moves on its own- cue for it believe alive o Experiment- 2 computer screens, two dots  1) contingent movement- dots appear to be chasing each other  2) independent movement- dots do not interact  Infants as young as 3 months are able to discriminate between these displays and they prefer to look at the contingent screen (the social screen) - Dispositional states o Helper vs. Hinderer Experiment- 6 month olds – red dot is not able to go up hill alone, but with help of blue square it gets up, another trial where yellow triangle prevents the red dot from getting up hill  Babies prefer the blue square since it was helpful - Intention perception o Woodward task- infants ability to understand intentions of other o Puppet show set up- habituation paradigm – hand reaches for object and picks it up o Test trials- object location is changed – hand reaches for either old object or new object(in old location) – infants more surprised in interested in hand reaching for a new object because they understand that the intention of the reaching was to get the old object o Variation- robot instead of hand- infants could not understand the intentions - Another intention perception study – 14months o Condition A: experimenter acts like she’s cold, wraps herself including her hands in a blanket and turns light on with forehead o Condition B: same setup, but experimenter’s hands are free o If condition A, infant turns on light with hand because they understand that if the experimenter has a free hand she would use it o If condition B, infant uses forehead thinking that’s how you turn on the light - Face perception o Fusiform face area- more activated when processing faces o Experiment- people who are experts at another category of objects (ex. Cars)- the FFA is activated more as well –
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