Join us at the next MARCS meeting for an Institute update as well as presentations by Dr Kiley Seymour and afternoon colloquium by Professor Kate Stevens.
12pm - MARCS Monday Meeting
Speaker: Professor Kate Stevens
Topic: Institute Update
Speaker: Dr Kiley Seymour
Topic: The feeling of being watched leads to faster detection of eye gaze.
Abstract: The feeling of being watched by another has been experimentally examined for over a century. Studies show that when participants believe they are watched, they tend to make more prosocial choices. A recent proposal suggests that the belief of being watched triggers a heightened awareness of stimuli in relation with the self. However, no direct empirical support is currently available. Here we examined how the belief of being watched modulates perceptual awareness of self-relevant information. Using a method known as continuous flash suppression, we rendered faces with direct and averted gaze initially invisible. Previous research using this method has shown that direct eye contact gains privileged access to conscious awareness. In the current study, when participants believed they were being watched on surveillance cameras from outside the room, they became aware of these stimuli much faster than a control group. These results suggest that the belief of being watched significantly modulates the earliest unconscious levels of perceptual processing, leading to the rapid detection of eye-gaze. Differences in arousal and anxiety across groups could not explain the results. The results have implications concerning the impacts of increasing levels of surveillance within our society and for understanding persecutory delusional experiences in psychosis.
12.40pm – Lunch
1pm – MARCS Afternoon Colloquium
Speaker: Professor Kate Stevens
Topic: Thought made visible: Cognition and contemporary dance
Abstract: A cognitive psychologist, an anthropologist, a dance writer, a dance academic, a cognitive scientist, a choreographer, an associate artistic director, and contemporary dance ensemble walk into a studio. This is the story of our collaborative research project with Australian Dance Theatre (ADT). The first study investigated relational or social influences on movement improvisation. In the second study, we co-designed an experiment with the dancers and artistic director to find means to observe potential influences on long-term memory for dance excerpts. Finally, we attempted to describe the ‘time course of creativity’ – do ideas come early or later in a period of improvisation? Is there a process of failing fast and often? Improvising and reproducing contemporary dance is thought made visible: thinking through and with the body. The dance company enjoyed a tradition of drawing on readings from natural science, physics, biology, and neuroscience as inspiration for creating and exploring movement material for set works. The interdisciplinary research project and team, at different moments, became part of, and learned from, ADT’s intellectual milieu.
Thank you for your continued attendance. Let's keep the momentum going.
MARCS staff and students are reminded that all meetings and workshops have an important role in building and maintaining the sense of community which is central to the success of MARCS as a cooperative and energetic research institute. Your attendance is both welcomed and expected.
The zoom ID is: 627 146 998. Link to zoom https://uws.zoom.us/j/627146998