Symposium on Reciprocity and Social Cognition

Reciprocity and social cognition

23–25 March 2015
Symposium organized by Anna Strasser, Stephen Butterfill, Richard Moore, Olle Blomberg
Venue: Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Luisenstraße 56, Festsaal, 10117 Berlin


Reciprocity and social cognition

Reciprocity is a common feature of much social cognition. For example, when two people attend to the same object simultaneously they can do so merely in parallel or jointly; only the latter of which involves reciprocity. However, traditional accounts of the foundations of social cognition have largely ignored the existence of reciprocity and treated social cognition as a process that rests on observation rather than genuine interaction (e.g., Dennett, 1982; Davidson, 1994; Stich & Nicholls, 2003; Goldman 2006; Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2008). Notable exceptions highlight reciprocity as a key feature of social cognition and joint action (Tomasello et al., 2005; Bratman, 2014). However, the precise nature of this concept has not always been clear, and debates across adjacent fields have remained somewhat disconnected.
In this three-day workshop we will try to clarify the concept of reciprocity and to explore for the first time how the notion of reciprocity can be used to illuminate debates in adjacent fields of cognitive science. In the process we hope to provide answers to a number of important questions such as:

What kinds of reciprocity are involved in different forms of communication and joint action?
How does reciprocity interact with knowledge, learning, and cognitive development?
What can we learn from studying social interaction in non-human primates and humans with psychiatric disorders that involve dysfunctional social interaction?
What role does reciprocity have in social interaction impairments?
How can reciprocity be studied with neuroscientific methods?

This symposium will be organized around six distinct but closely related sessions, each devoted to the role of reciprocity in social cognition:

(1) Intentional communication
(2) Neuroscience of dialogue
(3) Socio-cognitive disorders
(4) Social exchange: insights from computational neuroscience
(5) Perspective-taking
(6) Joint action




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