Science, literature and performing arts with Nicola Clayton and Clive Wilkins
Prof Nicola Clayton will give a unique series of talks at the ENS on May 3rd and 4th, along with artist Clive Wilkins.
Nicola Clayton is professor of comparative cognition and a University Teaching Officer in the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010.
Her research focuses on the study of how animals and children think. This work has led to a re-evaluation of the cognitive capacities of animals, particularly birds, and has resulted in a theory that intelligence evolved independently in at least two distantly related groups, apes and crows. She has also pioneered new procedures for the experimental study of memory and imagination in animals, investigating the relationship between human memory and consciousness, and how and when these abilities develop in young children.
In addition to being a scientist, Nicola is an avid dancer, specializing in tango and salsa, and has been named Scientist in Residence at the Rambert Dance Company, collaborating with Mark Baldwin, the Artistic Director. Her most recent collaboration, with artist Clive Wilkins, arose out of their mutual interest in imagination, and its consequences for consciousness, identity and memory. They also regularly dance tango together.
Her most recent collaboration with artist Clive Wilkins arose out of their mutual interest in imagination, and its consequences for consciousness, identity and memory. They also regularly dance tango together.
Clive Wilkins is Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. He is a writer, painter, dancer and magician. His paintings have been frequently seen in London Mayfair art galleries. His latest novel, "The Moustachio Quartet", explores imagination and questions aspects of consciousness and reality amidst the miasma of being.
Nicola and Clive are currently exploring the links between their specific disciplines. They are co-founders of "The Captured Thought", an arts and science collaboration that explores mental time travel and the subjective experience of thinking. They will be presenting a unique series of talks to communicate their research and findings.
May 3rd, 2016, 11:30 am, room Prestige 1, 29 rue d'Ulm
Ways of Thinking From Crows To Children And Back Again
This article reviews some of the recent work on the remarkable cognitive capacities of food-caching corvids. The focus will be on their ability to think about other minds and other times, and tool-using tests of physical problem solving. Research on developmental cognition suggests that young children do not pass similar tests until they are at least four years of age in the case of the social cognition experiments, and eight years of age in the case of the tasks that tap into physical cognition. This developmental trajectory seems surprising. Intuitively, one might have thought that the social and planning tasks required more complex forms of cognitive process, namely Mental Time Travel and Theory of Mind. Perhaps the fact that children pass these tasks earlier than the physical problem-solving tasks is a reflection of cultural influences. Future research will hope to identify these cognitive milestones by starting to develop tasks that might go some way towards understanding the mechanisms underlying these abilities in both children and corvids, to explore similarities and differences in their ways of thinking.
Clayton, N. S. (2014). EPS Mid Career Award Lecture. Ways of Thinking: From Crows to Children and Back Again. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 68, 209-241.
May 3rd, 2016, 3:00 pm, Amphitheatre Jaurès, 29 rue d'Ulm
Nicola Clayton et Clive Wilkins
The creative navigator's compass. Memory and perception and how we know where we are
If we could tell you where you were going and how you could get there, would you want to know?
Imagine a crystal ball that could anticipate the future: would you want to gaze into it, and if you did, what do you think you would see? Would you see yourself looking into it to know your personal future, the futures of your loved ones, or the society of which you are a part, or would you be looking for an overview of the great schema of things? Is it the case that any of these are fundamentally different in the way that they affect our perception of the world? In making an assessment of any future we may perceive, it’s all too easy to make the assumption that what we imagine and remember are accurate reflections of reality. Many of our greatest deceptions evolve out of such a faulty supposition.
In essence, the chances are that if we were able to look into the crystal ball we would be unlikely to make any sense of it anyway because our experiences are subjective. This has two consequences. The first is that they can shimmer and change, and be altered by our current point of view. The second is that these alternative realities are constrained by the fact that we don’t see all that can be seen, our memories are not an accurate repository of what happened in the past, and our thoughts of the future are often equally inaccurate and ill conceived because of these constraints on perception and memory.
Nicky and Clive, a scientist and artist respectively, explore the complex relationships between memory, perception and human experience. Join them for a fascinating interactive presentation that incorporates science, literature, and the performing arts.
May 4th, 2016, 3:00pm, room Langevin, 29 rue d'Ulm
Nicola Clayton et Clive Wilkins
Mental Time Travel and the Moustachio quartet
Mental time travel allows us to re-visit our memories and imagine future scenarios, and this is why memories are not only about the past—they are also prospective. These episodic memories are not a fixed store of what happened, however; they are reassessed each time they are revisited and depend on the sequence in which events unfold. In this lecture we shall explore the complex relationships between memory and human experience, including through a series of novels ‘The Moustachio Quartet’ that can be read in any order. To do so we shall integrate evidences from science and the arts to explore the subjective nature of mental time travel, arguing that these capacities evolved primarily for prospection as opposed to retrospection. Furthermore, we shall question the notion that mental time travel is a uniquely human construct, and argue that some of the best evidence for the independent evolution of mental time travel comes from our distantly related avian cousins, the corvids, that cache food for the future and rely on long-lasting and highly accurate memories of what, where and when they stored their stashes of food.
The Social Cognition Group of LNC certified "Equipe FRM"
The Social Cognition Group of the Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives has been certified "Equipe FRM" by the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM). The FRM allocates funds to research teams with a particularly innovative project. The team led by Julie Grèzes has received funding for a three-year-long project entitled "Adaptive function of anxiety: a call to action".
The project "Parcours connectés" (Connected Paths) financed by Investissement d'Avenir
Roberto Casati (IJN) and Franck Ramus (LSCP) (with SynLab, Gryzz-lab, Laboratoire Lettres, Idées, Savoirs, UPEC, Centre de Recherche en Informatique, Paris 1, ESPE de l’académie de Créteil et Pôle numérique de l’académie de Créteil) has obtained a grant as part of the "Territoires éducatifs d’innovation numérique" program (part of France's Investissements d'Avenir) for the project "Parcours connectés". The goal of this project is to train and to assist school teachers in non-scholastic fields (such as cooperation, creativity, and critical mind) by using the digital lever with a new platform hosting, creating and spreading educational practices.
Grant to fund the European Training Network "Diaphora" (IJN)
The Institut Jean Nicod, in partnership with six other European universities, participates in “Diaphora”, a newly funded European Training Network coordinated by the University of Barcelona. The IJN team, led by François Recanati and composed of Elisabeth Pacherie, Frédérique de Vignemont, Uriah Kriegel, and Jérôme Dokic, works on the theme "self-knowledge". Two PhD students have been recruited and will arrive at the DEC on October 1st.
Jean Nicod Lectures and Prize: Patrick HAGGARD (University College London)
The Jean Nicod lectures
aim to promote philosophical
research focused on cognition, and to boost recognition of work
done on this subject internationally. The laureate of the Jean Nicod prize is invited to present their work during a four-installment
conference series which is then compiled into a book.
Patrick Haggard, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, will receive the 2016 Jean Nicod Prize.
He will present his work during a conference series at the ENS on May (5/17, 5/20, 5/24 and 5/27) about "Volition, Agency, Responsability: Cognitive Mechanisms of Human action".
Download the brochure here.
May 17, 2016 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure
29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
Amphitheatre Jean Jaurès Human volition
Voluntary action is central to our views of human nature, but eludes scientific investigation. Philosophers sometimes define voluntary actions as actions which are reasons-responsive, or are “up to us”. In contrast, neuroscientists often consider voluntary actions as involving a specific set of brain pathways that lead to movement. In particular, brain science distinguishes between movements that are externally-triggered, such as reflex responses, and those that are internally-generated.This lecture considers what this capacity for internally-generated movement might mean, what basis it might have in the human brain, and how it relates to our conscious experience of our own actions.
Patrick Haggard will be awarded the Jean-Nicod Prize after the lecture.
May 20, 2016 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
Amphiteatre Jean Jaurès
The sense of agency
Our actions often aim at producing some specific goal event or outcome. The mental capacity to link actions to outcomes is a distinctive feature of human cognition, and is accompanied by a distinctive experience, which I call “sense of agency”. Measuring the sense of agency is difficult. The brain readily tags the outcomes of our own actions – as our ability to control devices and machines clearly shows. However, people generally overestimate the influence of their actions, leading to some interesting illusions of agency. I will describe one method of measuring sense of agency, based on a Humean notion of the human mind. In the “intentional binding” effect, people perceive their voluntary actions and the outcomes of those actions, as linked together in time, so that the interval between them is subjectively compressed.
May 24, 2016 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
Amphiteatre Jean Jaurès
Narrative confabulation, or prospective control
This lecture investigates the mechanisms and impacts of human sense of agency. The methods of mental chronometry, and in particular the intentional binding measure, have made it possible to study the causes and consequences of sense of agency in the controlled conditions of the experimental laboratory. Is the sense of agency a purely retrospective narrative, driven by the mind’s attempts to make sense of actions? Or is it a prospective perception of impending goal-directed voluntary action. Current evidence suggests our experience of agency reflects a balance of both prospective and retrospective processes. Neuroscientific evidence from brain measurements and brain stimulation suggest a model in which the frontal lobes prepare an experience of agency as part of action preparation, while the parietal lobes monitor the outcomes of voluntary actions.
May 27, 2016 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
École normale supérieure, 45, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
Responsibility for action
Many systems of law involve a ‘voluntary act condition’ for criminal responsibility. More generally, society holds individuals responsible for their voluntary actions, because it views each individual as an agent governed by conscious free will, who ‘could have done otherwise’. How can we establish whether an action is voluntary or involuntary? I will consider neuropsychological evidence from two specific examples: actions made under conditions of strong emotion, and actions made under coercion. In both cases, the brain mechanisms that generate the subjective experience of controlling our own actions turn out to have major implications for personal responsibility, and thus for the organisation of our societies.
Cognitive science and cinema
On the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival, the association
Scalp! and the DEC organize a round table about cinema and cognitive science,
"The nature of the spectator experience". Is the film a window into the world?
Does watching a movie mean perceiving the reality it represents? How do we perceive the intentions
of the director and the characters' emotions? What differences are there between the viewer's experience during
a movie compared to other works of art? Cognitive scientists and film experts will exchange on these and other issues.
- Carole Desbarats, film critic, director of studies at La Fémis between 1996 and 2009
- Camille Lugan, director, screen-writer and programmer
- Jérôme Pelletier, philosopher of fiction
- Clément Safra, author and director
- Enrico Terrone, philosopher of cinema
This round table will take place at the ENS, amphitheatre Jaurès on May 2d at 7:30 pm.
Sign up here: http://associationscalp.wix.com/scalp
Peyre, H., Ramus, F., Melchior, M., Forhan, A., Heude, B., & Gauvrit, N. (2016). Emotional, behavioral and social difficulties among high-IQ children during the preschool period: Results of the EDEN mother-child cohort. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 366-371.
Rationale: High intelligence may be associated with emotional, behavioral and social difficulties. However, this hypothesis is supported by little compelling, population-based evidence, and no study has been conducted during the preschool period with a population-based sample.
Method: Children (N = 1100) from the EDEN mother–child cohort were assessed at the age of 5–6 years. Behavioral, emotional and social problems (emotional symptoms, conduct problems, symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior) were measured using the parent-rated Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ). IQ scores were based on the WPPSI-III at 5–6 years. Relevant covariates for children's cognitive development were also collected.
Results: We found no significant differences in SDQ scores between gifted children (N = 23; Full Scale IQ N 130) and children with Full Scale IQ in the normal range (N = 1058 ≥ 70 and ≤130), except a marginally significant association between high-IQ and emotional difficulties at 5–6 years. Further sensitivity analyses did not support the association between high-IQ and emotional difficulties.
Discussion: During the preschool period, gifted children do not seem to manifest more behavioral, emotional and social problems than children with normal IQ.
Zhao, J. J., Thiebaut de Schotten, M., Altarelli, I., Dubois, J., & Ramus, F. (2016). Altered hemispheric lateralization of white matter tracts in developmental dyslexia: Evidence from spherical deconvolution tractography. Cortex, 76, 51-62
This study examines the structural integrity and the hemispheric lateralization patterns of four major association fiber pathways in a group of French dyslexic children and age- matched controls (from 9 to 14 years), using high angular diffusion imaging combined with spherical deconvolution tractography. Compared with age-matched controls, dyslexic children show increased hindrance-modulated oriented anisotropy (HMOA) in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). They also show a reduced leftward asymmetry of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) and an increased rightward asymmetry of the second branch of the SLF (SLF II). The lateralization pattern of IFOF and SLF II also accounts for individual differences in dyslexic children's reading abilities. These data provide evi- dence for an abnormal lateralization of occipito-frontal and parieto-frontal pathways in developmental dyslexia.
May 2, 2016
EHESS seminar (IJN) - Gloria Origgi - Séminaire "Connaissance et Société"
May 2, 2016
Compas seminar (IJN) - Sandrine Rossi (Département de psychologie, Université de Caen): "A la découverte de mon cerveau: la neuroéducation en pratique"
May 3, 2016
DEC Colloquium - Nicola Clayton (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge): "Ways of Thinking From Crows To Children And Back Again"
May 3, 2016
Talk (LSP) - Nicola Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge): "The creative navigator's compass. Memory and perception and how we know where we are"
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 2016
May 4, 2016
Talk (LSP) - Nicola Clayton and Clive Wilkins (Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge): "Mental Time Travel and the Moustachio Quartet"
May 9, 2016
Aesthetics and Cognitive Science seminar - Palle Leth (Stockholm, IJN): "The Possibility of Paraphrase"
May 10, 2016
May 10, 2016
DEC Colloquium Andrew Bayliss: "Following and leading social gaze"
May 11, 2016
Naturalizing Epistemic Norms seminar - Ernest Sosa (Rutgers University): "Two Puzzles in Epistemology"
May 13, 2016
IJN Colloquium - Ilaria Grazzani (Università di Milano-Bicocca) and Jens Brockmeier (American University of Paris): "Young children’s understanding of the mind: the role of conversation in developing cognition"
May 13, 2016
Doc'In Nicod seminar - Paul Boswell (University of Michigan, IJN): "Affective Content and the Guise of the Good"
May 16-17, 2016
Conference (IJN) - Monism
May 17, 20, 24, 27, 2016
Jean Nicod Lectures and Prize - Patrick HAGGARD (University College London): "Volition, agency, responsability: cognitive mechanisms of human action"
May 18, 2016
PaCS seminar (IJN) - Elijah Chudnoff (University of Miami): "Epistemic Elitism and Other Minds"
May 18, 2016
Reality & Represenattion seminar (IJN) - Damiano Costa (Fribourg): "Existence at a Time"
May 20, 2016
May 21, 2016
Conference - La médecine basée sur des preuves
May 23, 30, 2016
May 23, 2016
May 24, 2016
PaCS seminar (IJN) - Elijah Chudnoff (University of Miami): "Evaluative Perception and Intuition"
May 25-27, 2016
May 26, 2016
May 31 - June 1st, 2016
DEC calendar cognition.ens.fr.
DEC Colloquium : http://www.cognition.ens.fr/ColloquiumAgendaENG.html.
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