On October 22nd I will give a seminar at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas (IIMAS), of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Evolutionary robotics and social psychology
Mainstream cognitive science is theorizing about social understanding in terms of a detached observer who is theorizing and/or simulating the hidden minds of others. However, this consensus is starting to be challenged from a variety of directions. In this talk I focus on the enactive approach, which hypothesizes that social interaction can sometimes be constitutive of social cognition. In support of this hypothesis I describe a series of evolutionary robotics models of minimal forms of dyadic interaction, which are inspired by actual experiments in social psychology. The results of these models suggest that the dynamics of interaction can become self-sustaining, and that the recognition of another agent as another agent depends on mutual coordination of the interaction process. We recently conducted a psychological study to test these predictions. I present our findings and relate them to the enactive approach to social cognition.