Invited Speakers

Prof dr Liesbeth Sterck

August 4, 11.15-12.15
Animal Ecology, Utrecht University, Utrecht
Ethology Research, BPRC, Rijswijk

Primate social cognition: Constructing the evolution of theory of mind

Theory of Mind, the capacity to understand mental states of others, may not have emerged de novo in humans. Research on primates can identify precursors to Theory of Mind. To understand others' mental states, one has to understand that others can gather knowledge. Many animal species understand that animals look in a particular direction. Apes and some monkeys understand that others have visual knowledge. This indicates that Theory of Mind has evolved from simpler precursors and allows the investigation of the selection pressures on Theory of Mind and its precursors.

Dr Lisette van der Meer

August 4, 13.45-14.45
Senior researcher, Lentis, Groningen

Knowing me, knowing you. The emotional self in schizophrenia

How does one cope with the social world? Which cognitive processes and brain areas are involved? What happens when these processes are hampered? In this presentation, I will discuss two (related) processes that may play an important role in the impairments of people with psychotic disorders: Theory of Mind and self-reflective processing. I will present our work on Theory of Mind in healthy subjects as well as in people with a vulnerability for the development of psychosis. I will additionally present data on the relationship between self-reflective processing and schizophrenia in the brain, and more specifically the role of self-reflective processing in patients who have impaired insight into their illness.

Participants of the workshop are also welcome to attend the invited AiML talk "Reasoning about knowledge of awareness revisited" by Joe Halpern, Cornell University, on August 5, 9:00 - 10:00.