Social communication plays an integral part of our daily lives; whether communicating with a friend or stranger, we are constantly computing and evaluating mental states of both ourselves and our interactive partners. This ability to consider other people’s mental states - amongst other key capacities - is typically referred to using the umbrella term 'social cognition'. These social cognitive abilities are one of the main focuses of research in the Interacting Minds Lab, exploring social cognition from multiple perspectives, including the cognitive and neural underpinnings of social cognition, developmental perspectives, as well as cultural and social factors that may play an influential role.
Examining how we are able to efficiently differentiate between our own mental states (e.g., emotional states, belief states, visual perspectives) and those of other people. How efficiently are we able to switch between the self-perspective and the 'other'-perspective?
Advancing our understanding how social cognition changes and develops across the lifespan, including examining when and how problems with social cognition may arise, the implications of these problems, and how we may develop interventions to reduce social cognitive impairments.
Examining the role of cultural factors that may influence how we consider and process other people's perspectives.
Investigating how social cognitive abilities may - or, importantly, may not - differ across different individuals, including individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Examining perceptions of Autism.
Considering the developmental, cognitive and social factors that may influence social cognitive processes.