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Schyana Sivanantham's PAM


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Schyana Sivanantham

of Victoria University of Wellington
Will speak on

Adults’ Action Observation and Goal-Tracking with Hand Cues: Low’s Great Expectations or Great Disappointment

Date: Thursday 29th March 2018
Time: 11.30 am
Venue: EA527 5th Floor, Easterfield Building

How do we track others’ mental states? Low and colleagues distinguish two processes involved in understanding others’ minds, one that is extremely fast – efficient enough to guide where we look in anticipation of someone’s forthcoming behaviour – and another that is slower, but flexible enough to help with the particular way someone thinks about something. Even more controversial is the latest generation of that 2-systems theory whereby Low argues that motor representations support fast tracking of others’ beliefs (and not just goals), whereupon efficient mindreading may be an extension of motor processing (Edwards & Low, 2017; Low, 2018). The conjecture is exciting but premature; it assumes the Ambrosini-Costantini-Sinigaglia (ACS) action-observation paradigm reliably measures efficient goal ascription in the first place. I will investigate whether there is some such thing as any methodological mileage in the ACS paradigm, and substantially test and challenge Low’s view that observing hand-shaping cues informs mental-state tracking.