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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School
 

Fri 17 Jan 12:00: Sensitive periods of social brain development in adolescence PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM. THERE WILL BE NO ZANGWILL TEA THIS WEEK

Other Psychology Seminars - Mon, 13/01/2020 - 14:04
Sensitive periods of social brain development in adolescence

Abstract Adolescence is a period of life often characterised by behaviours that appear irrational, such as seemingly excessive risk-taking and impulsivity. However, these behaviours can be interpreted as adaptive and rational if one considers that a key developmental goal of this period of life is to mature into an independent adult in the context of a social world that is unstable and changing. In the past 20 years, neuroscience research has shown that the human brain develops both structurally and functionally during adolescence. Areas of the social brain undergo significant reorganisation during the second decade of life, which might reflect a sensitive period for adapting to the social environment.

Biography Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and leads the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her group’s research focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the human adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health.

Professor Blakemore studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University (1993-1996) and then did her PhD (1996-2000) at the UCL Functional Imaging Lab with Professors Chris Frith and Daniel Wolpert. She then took up a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship (2001-2003) to work in Lyon, France. This was followed by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (2004-2007) and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2007-2016) at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. She was a Group Leader at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience until 2019, when she took up a Chair in Psychology at Cambridge.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM. THERE WILL BE NO ZANGWILL TEA THIS WEEK

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Wed 15 Jan 15:00: Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

Other Psychology Seminars - Mon, 13/01/2020 - 11:50
Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

The question of whether humans are fundamentally selfish or prosocial has intrigued many disciplines from philosophy to economics for centuries. From small acts of kindness to major sacrifices, just how willing are humans to help others?

Here I will describe a set of studies using computational models of effort-based decision-making and reinforcement learning, in combination with functional neuroimaging, to understand how willing people are to put in effort to help others (prosocial motivation) and how people are able to learn which of their actions help others (prosocial learning). I will then discuss how basic associative learning processes might underlie our tendency to be biased towards self rather than other-related information in terms of ownership.

I will show that in general, people care more about their own outcomes than others, but that there are substantial individual differences that are linked to specific brain areas. Moreover, I will discuss how healthy ageing could be associated with changes in prosociality and therefore the importance of considering prosocial behaviour from a lifespan perspective. Overall, these findings could have important implications for understanding everyday social learning and decision-making and its disruption in disorders of social behaviour such as psychopathy.

Dr. Patricia Lockwood is an MRC Fellow, Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford and is staring as a Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham from summer 2020. Patricia completed her BSc in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at University College London. Her research investigates social learning and decision-making across the lifespan and in neurological and psychiatric disorders. She has won several awards for her work including the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Young Scientist Award, the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award and the Frith Prize for exceptional PhD contributions.

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Fri 14 Feb 12:00: Modern Outrage and the Perversion of Punishment PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

Other Psychology Seminars - Mon, 13/01/2020 - 09:48
Modern Outrage and the Perversion of Punishment

Abstract: Punishment of wrongdoing is a hallmark of human moral psychology. Humans are willing to punish moral transgressions even when they are personally unaffected, often at great personal cost. Recent work in neuroeconomics has begun to characterize the neurobiology of moralistic punishment behavior and its affective precursors such as moral outrage. This work indicates that moral outrage and punishment engage the brain’s reinforcement learning circuitry, which in turn suggests that moralistic punishment is susceptible to habitization. If this is the case, then expressions of moral values through punishment may sometimes be involuntary and vulnerable to external control (e.g., via social media algorithms that prioritize user engagement). I will provide preliminary evidence for this possibility with analyses of moral outrage expressions in millions of social media posts. I will argue that new technologies may be altering moral outrage and punishment such that the ultimate function of punishment—the enforcement of social cooperation—is being perverted, with potentially troubling implications for democratic public discourse.

Dr Molly Crockett is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Prior to joining Yale, Dr Crockett was a University Lecturer at the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology and a Fellow of Jesus College. She holds a BSc in Neuroscience from UCLA and completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, and was a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, working with economists and neuroscientists at the University of Zürich and University College London.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

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Wed 29 Jan 15:00: Tribalism in War and Peace: The nature and evolution of ideological epistemology and its significance for modern social science

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 08/01/2020 - 15:49
Tribalism in War and Peace: The nature and evolution of ideological epistemology and its significance for modern social science

Because of a long history of intergroup conflict, humans evolved to be tribal. These tribal tendencies can lead individuals to sacrifice sound reasoning and judgmental accuracy in order to conform to and defend the views of their ingroup. Political tribes are one of the most salient forms of modern tribal identity, and so politics likely triggers these tribal tendencies, leading to ideologically distorted information processing. My work has shown that these ideological biases exist in similar degrees in liberals and conservatives, but certain sacred concerns can lead to stronger biases in one group than in the other. Liberals have sacred concerns about traditionally conceived disadvantaged groups, and thus liberals are more biased than conservatives when evaluating information with significance to such groups. And because social scientists are overwhelmingly liberal, these sacred concerns may have biased and may continue to bias the conclusions drawn by social scientists.

Cory Clark received her PhD in Social Psychology from University of California, Irvine in 2014, and she is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at Durham University. She has two main programs of research, examining (1) how punitive desires shape beliefs about human agency and moral responsibility, and (2) how political biases influence evaluations of science. She also co-hosts a podcast, Psyphilopod, which covers psychology, philosophy, politics, and academic culture.

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Wed 15 Jan 15:00: Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 08/01/2020 - 15:12
Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

The question of whether humans are fundamentally selfish or prosocial has intrigued many disciplines from philosophy to economics for centuries. From small acts of kindness to major sacrifices, just how willing are humans to help others?

Here I will describe a set of studies using computational models of effort-based decision-making and reinforcement learning, in combination with functional neuroimaging, to understand how willing people are to put in effort to help others (prosocial motivation) and how people are able to learn which of their actions help others (prosocial learning). I will then discuss how basic associative learning processes might underlie our tendency to be biased towards self rather than other-related information in terms of ownership.

I will show that in general, people care more about their own outcomes than others, but that there are substantial individual differences that are linked to specific brain areas. Moreover, I will discuss how healthy ageing could be associated with changes in prosociality and therefore the importance of considering prosocial behaviour from a lifespan perspective. Overall, these findings could have important implications for understanding everyday social learning and decision-making and its disruption in disorders of social behaviour such as psychopathy.

Dr. Patricia Lockwood is an MRC Fellow, Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford and is staring as a Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham from summer 2020. Patricia completed her BSc in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at University College London. Her research investigates social learning and decision-making across the lifespan and in neurological and psychiatric disorders. She has won several awards for her work including the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Young Scientist Award, the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award and the Frith Prize for exceptional PhD contributions.

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Wed 08 Jan 15:00: Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:05
Neurocomputational basis of social learning and decision-making

The question of whether humans are fundamentally selfish or prosocial has intrigued many disciplines from philosophy to economics for centuries. From small acts of kindness to major sacrifices, just how willing are humans to help others?

Here I will describe a set of studies using computational models of effort-based decision-making and reinforcement learning, in combination with functional neuroimaging, to understand how willing people are to put in effort to help others (prosocial motivation) and how people are able to learn which of their actions help others (prosocial learning). I will then discuss how basic associative learning processes might underlie our tendency to be biased towards self rather than other-related information in terms of ownership.

I will show that in general, people care more about their own outcomes than others, but that there are substantial individual differences that are linked to specific brain areas. Moreover, I will discuss how healthy ageing could be associated with changes in prosociality and therefore the importance of considering prosocial behaviour from a lifespan perspective. Overall, these findings could have important implications for understanding everyday social learning and decision-making and its disruption in disorders of social behaviour such as psychopathy.

Dr. Patricia Lockwood is an MRC Fellow, Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford and is staring as a Senior Research Fellow/Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham from summer 2020. Patricia completed her BSc in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at University College London. Her research investigates social learning and decision-making across the lifespan and in neurological and psychiatric disorders. She has won several awards for her work including the European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Young Scientist Award, the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award and the Frith Prize for exceptional PhD contributions.

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Wed 29 Jan 15:00: Tribalism in War and Peace: The nature and evolution of ideological epistemology and its significance for modern social science

Other Psychology Seminars - Wed, 08/01/2020 - 10:24
Tribalism in War and Peace: The nature and evolution of ideological epistemology and its significance for modern social science

Because of a long history of intergroup conflict, humans evolved to be tribal. These tribal tendencies can lead individuals to sacrifice sound reasoning and judgmental accuracy in order to conform to and defend the views of their ingroup. Political tribes are one of the most salient forms of modern tribal identity, and so politics likely triggers these tribal tendencies, leading to ideologically distorted information processing. My work has shown that these ideological biases exist in similar degrees in liberals and conservatives, but certain sacred concerns can lead to stronger biases in one group than in the other. Liberals have sacred concerns about traditionally conceived disadvantaged groups, and thus liberals are more biased than conservatives when evaluating information with significance to such groups. And because social scientists are overwhelmingly liberal, these sacred concerns may have biased and may continue to bias the conclusions drawn by social scientists.

Cory Clark received her PhD in Social Psychology from University of California, Irvine in 2014, and she is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at Durham University. She has two main programs of research, examining (1) how punitive desires shape beliefs about human agency and moral responsibility, and (2) how political biases influence evaluations of science. She also co-hosts a podcast, Psyphilopod, which covers psychology, philosophy, politics, and academic culture.

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Fri 14 Feb 12:00: Title to be confirmed PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

Other Psychology Seminars - Tue, 07/01/2020 - 12:20
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

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Fri 21 Feb 16:30: Fragile Memories for Fleeting Percepts

Other Psychology Seminars - Tue, 07/01/2020 - 12:19
Fragile Memories for Fleeting Percepts

The Simultaneous Type/ Serial Token (STST) model of temporal attention and working memory (Bowman & Wyble, 2007) was published over 10 years ago as a theory of the attentional blink and associated phenomena. In the intervening period, the scope of the theory has grown, becoming a theory of the episodic nature of attention and perception (Wyble et al, 2011). Recently, we have also been considering the implications of the STST model for theories of conscious perception. If one interprets the neural network model that implements the STST theory literally, it makes two particular predictions for conscious experience: 1) that we can pre-consciously search our sensory environments for salient stimuli (type-information); and 2) that we cannot pre-consciously search our sensory environment on the basis of episodic information (token-information). The latter of these fits well with theories of conscious perception based upon event individuation (Kanwisher, 2001). Using rapid serial visual presentation, I will report a series of EEG (Bowman et al, 2014) and behavioural (Aviles et al, 2020) experiments that provide evidence in support of these two predictions. These experiments focus on the fragility, even absence, of memory for fleetingly presented stimuli. We argue that these findings provide support for a theory we call the tokenised percept hypothesis. Avilés, A., Bowman, H., & Wyble, B. (2020). On the limits of evidence accumulation of the preconscious percept. Cognition, 195, 104080. Bowman, H., & Wyble, B. (2007). The simultaneous type, serial token model of temporal attention and working memory. Psychological review, 114(1), 38. Bowman, H., Filetti, M., Alsufyani, A., Janssen, D., & Su, L. (2014). Countering countermeasures: detecting identity lies by detecting conscious breakthrough. PloS one, 9(3). Kanwisher, N. (2001). Neural events and perceptual awareness. Cognition, 79(1-2), 89-113. Wyble, B., Potter, M. C., Bowman, H., & Nieuwenstein, M. (2011). Attentional episodes in visual perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 140(3), 488.

Howard Bowman is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in Psychology at the University of Birmingham and Professor of Cognition and Logic in Computing at the University of Kent. He also holds a visiting position at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL . For the first half of his career, he worked in theoretical computer science; specific contributions were on decision procedures for temporal logics and process calculi in concurrency theory. More recently, he has worked in cognitive neuroscience, with particular focus on theories of temporal attention (e.g. the Simultaneous Type/ Serial Token model) and the role of oscillations in episodic memory formation (e.g. the Synch/deSynch model). He also has interests in methods development for neuroimaging, e.g. problems of small samples, and over-fitting of hyper-parameters in machine learning and region of interest selection. Finally, he is currently commercialising his EEG findings in a forensics context with the company vision metric and funding from Innovate UK.

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Fri 14 Feb 12:00: Title to be confirmed PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

Other Psychology Seminars - Tue, 07/01/2020 - 11:31
Title to be confirmed

Abstract not available

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

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Fri 31 Jan 16:30: Anhedonia and Adolescent Depression

Other Psychology Seminars - Fri, 03/01/2020 - 14:08
Anhedonia and Adolescent Depression

abstract:

Adolescence is a period of change that crucially increases vulnerability to depression. Studies report blunted neural responses to reward that relate to positive affect and depression symptoms in adolescents. However how these results relate to the symptom of anhedonia in adolescents is not entirely clear. We have been examining how the brain responds to reward and aversion in those at risk of depression and adolescents with depression and anhedonia symptoms. We use an fMRI task measuring the different components of reward and aversion processing such as the anticipation and consummation of reward. More recently we have also begun to measure effort for reward as a proxy for motivational deficits in depression. Our work shows that there are blunted brain responses to reward and aversion in adolescents with symptoms of depression. We also find there is reduced physical effort for reward in those with symptoms compared to controls. Finally we also show how the dimensional experience of anhedonia correlates with neural responses and effort for reward and aversion in adolescents. We discuss the shortcomings of the current literature on anhedonia in adolescent depression and suggest how the links between the experience of anhedonia in adolescent depression and the behavioural and neural measures of reward could be improved.

Biblio: Ciara McCabe is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Reading (Head: Neuroimaging of Reward Group: NRG ). She examines human reward dysfunction in depression and the effects of antidepressant treatments on the neural response to reward. In 2008 she was awarded a British Association of Psychopharmacology, (BAP) Lilly Fellowship and in 2010 she was awarded a European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Fellowship Award in Amsterdam. In 2012 she was awarded The International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) Rafaelsen Young Investigator’s Award, as part of the biannual meeting in Stockholm. In 2014 she received a University of Reading Celebrating Success Award. Ciara also received an In‐vivo Training Initiative Award from the BAP in 2014 and 2015. Ciara has recently received the Senior Non‐ Clinical Psychopharmacology Award from BAP in 2015. Ciara is active in public engagement and has appeared on TV (Channel 4 Dispatches and BBC1 ) and on Radio talking about her work on depression. She has also appeared in print (e.g. The Guardian). In 2014 she spoke at the Cheltenham Science Festival and the Institute of Physics Public Lecture series and will talk at SciBar in Oxford, Cafe Scientific in Reading and at the University of Reading Public Lecture series in 2015 about her work on the neurobiology of depression and anti‐depressant treatment.

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Fri 17 Jan 12:00: Sensitive periods of social brain development in adolescence PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

Other Psychology Seminars - Thu, 02/01/2020 - 15:34
Sensitive periods of social brain development in adolescence

Abstract Adolescence is a period of life often characterised by behaviours that appear irrational, such as seemingly excessive risk-taking and impulsivity. However, these behaviours can be interpreted as adaptive and rational if one considers that a key developmental goal of this period of life is to mature into an independent adult in the context of a social world that is unstable and changing. In the past 20 years, neuroscience research has shown that the human brain develops both structurally and functionally during adolescence. Areas of the social brain undergo significant reorganisation during the second decade of life, which might reflect a sensitive period for adapting to the social environment.

Biography Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and leads the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her group’s research focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the human adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health.

Professor Blakemore studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University (1993-1996) and then did her PhD (1996-2000) at the UCL Functional Imaging Lab with Professors Chris Frith and Daniel Wolpert. She then took up a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship (2001-2003) to work in Lyon, France. This was followed by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (2004-2007) and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2007-2016) at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. She was a Group Leader at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience until 2019, when she took up a Chair in Psychology at Cambridge.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

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Fri 17 Jan 12:00: Sensitive periods of social brain development in adolescence PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

Other Psychology Seminars - Thu, 02/01/2020 - 11:54
Sensitive periods of social brain development in adolescence

Abstract not available

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TALK WILL TAKE PLACE AT 12.00PM

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Fri 06 Mar 16:30: Feeling in Seeing is Believing : Experimenting with the Visceral Dimension of Visual Politics (When News are Fake)

Other Psychology Seminars - Thu, 19/12/2019 - 10:14
Feeling in Seeing is Believing : Experimenting with the Visceral Dimension of Visual Politics (When News are Fake)

Abstract : Photography mediates our experience of the world and our understanding of socio-political events. Beyond our cognitive judgments about the images we consume in the mdeia, we respond and relate to (visual) politics in visceral, embodied ways. We will present a series of psychological and psychophysiological studies that investigate how visceral responses influence our judgments about photojournalistic images. Taken together our findings highlight the role of embodiment in determining our beliefs about realness in a political culture powered by images.

Bio: Manos Tsakiris is Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, where he leads the Lab of Action & Body (LAB). His research is highly interdisciplinary and uses a wide range of methods to investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms that shape the experience of embodiment, self and social relatedness. He is the recipient of the Young Mind and Brain Prize in 2014, of the 22nd Experimental Psychology Society Prize in 2015, and the NOMIS Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award in 2016. Since 2016, he is leading the interdisciplinary Body & Image in Arts & Science (BIAS) project at the Warburg Institute where he investigates the performative and political power of visual culture, and since 2017 the INtheSELF ERC Consolidator project at Royal Holloway that investigates the role of interoception for self- and social-awareness

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Fri 28 Feb 16:30: Social Physiology for Precision Psychiatry

Other Psychology Seminars - Thu, 19/12/2019 - 09:52
Social Physiology for Precision Psychiatry

Abstract: To understand human cognition in its functioning and dysfunctions, it is necessary to combine multiple scales of observation and related disciplines, from the molecular level in genetics to the behavioural level in psychology. In psychiatry, diagnosis, prognostic evaluation and choice of treatment thus require the integration of multiple pieces of information and their temporal evolution, particularly for neurodevelopmental disorders. In this presentation, I will argue that recent advances in integrative neuroscience and computational biology finally provide all the conceptual and methodological tools to encompass these multiple scales and thus develop the necessary social physiology for precision psychiatry. About integrative neuroscience, I will describe how recent efforts in human-human and human-machine interaction have brought more ecological paradigms to the laboratory for the study of human social cognition and its physiological anchoring. Concerning computational biology, I will present how large longitudinal cohorts can achieve the deep genotyping and phenotyping necessary for modern artificial intelligence tools to move beyond the traditional patient-to-control dichotomy to stratification methods or more dimensional models (e.g. RDoC). In conclusion, I will propose ways to integrate these two approaches in computational psychiatry.

Short biography: Guillaume Dumas is a research fellow in the neuroscience department of the Institut Pasteur and coordinates the Social Neuroscience for Therapeutic Approaches in Autism (SoNeTAA) platform in the child psychiatry department of the Robert Debré Hospital. His research combines human-human and human-machine interactions with neuroimaging and bioinformatics to study our biological, behavioural, and social dynamics. He is also involved in numerous projects at the interface between science and society, in particular through the advocacy of open science in political and research institutions (co-founder of HackYourPhD) and the defence of citizens’ rights (invited expert at the UN).

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