ISBN: 9780262315029 | 422 pp. | August 2013

Social Perception

Detection and Interpretation of Animacy, Agency, and Intention

As we enter a room full of people, we instantly have a number of social perceptions. We have an automatic perception of others as subjective agents with their own points of view, thoughts, and goals, and we can quickly interpret minimal visual information to infer that something is animate. This book explores the perceptual and cognitive processes that allow humans to perceive and understand this social information quickly and apparently effortlessly. Top researchers in fields ranging from developmental psychology to vision science consider the perception of biological and animate motion, inferences based on this motion, and the early development of these abilities.

These innovative contributions reflect a recent renewal of interest in the attribution of agency and the understanding of goal-directed behavior, which has been accompanied by a rapid increase in empirical discoveries enabled by such new experimental techniques as brain imaging. The research presented in Social Perception suggests that an intuitive understanding of others is an integral part of human psychology, develops early, relies on a network of brain regions, and may be compromised in autism.

Contributors: Dare Baldwin, Lara Bardi, H. Clark Barrett, Erin Cannon, You-jung Choi, Willem E. Frankenhuis, Tao Gao, Emily D. Grossman, Antonia Hamilton, Petra Hauf, Valerie A. Kuhlmeier, Jeff Loucks, Scott A. Love, Yuyan Luo, Elena Mascalzoni, Phil McAleer, Richard Ramsey, Lucia Regolin, M.D. Rutherford, Kara Sage, Brian J. Scholl, Maggie Shiffrar, Francesca Simion, Jessica Sommerville, James P. Thomas, Nikolaus Troje, Amanda Woodward.

Table of Contents

    1. 1. Introduction: The Interdisciplinary Study of Social Perception

      M.D. Rutherford and Valerie A. Kuhlmeier

  1. I. Section Introduction: Biological Motion Perception

    Nikolaus F. Troje

    1. 2. What Is Biological Motion? Definition, Stimuli, and Paradigms

      Nikolaus F. Troje

    2. 3. From Motion Cues to Social Perception: Innate Predispositions

      Francesca Simion, Lara Bardi, Elena Mascalzoni, and Lucia Regolin

    3. 4. Evidence for Functional Specialization in the Human Superior Temporal Sulcus (STS): Consideration of Biological Motion Perception and Social Cognition

      Emily D. Grossman

    4. 5. Beyond the Scientific Objectification of the Human Body: Differentiated Analyses of Human Motion and Object Motion

      Maggie Shiffrar and James P. Thomas

  2. II. Section Introduction: The Perception of Animacy and Intentional Behavior

    M. D. Rutherford and Valerie A. Kuhlmeier

    1. 6. Evidence for Specialized Perception of Animate Motion

      M.D. Rutherford

    2. 7. Perceiving Intention in Animacy Displays Created from Human Motion

      Phil McAleer and Scott A. Love

    3. 8. Design for Learning: The Case of Chasing

      Willem E. Frankenhuis and H. Clark Barrett

    4. 9. Perceiving Animacy and Intentionality: Visual Processing or Higher-Level Judgment?

      Brian J. Scholl and Tao Gao

    5. 10. How Are the Actions of Triangles and People Processed in the Human Brain?

      Antonia F. de C. Hamilton and Richard Ramsey

    6. 11. Infants Attribute Mental States to Nonhuman Agents

      Yuyan Luo and You-jung Choi

    7. 12. The Social Perception of Helping and Hindering

      Valerie A. Kuhlmeier

  3. III. Section Introduction: Recognizing and Interpreting Goal-Directed Behavior in Human Actors

    Jeff Loucks

    1. 13. Dwelling on Action

      Dare Baldwin and Kara D. Sage

    2. 14. The Role of Self-Produced Movement in the Perception of Biological Motion and Intentional Actions in Infants

      Petra Hauf

    3. 15. Human Action Perception across Development

      Jeff Loucks and Jessica Sommerville

    4. 16. Online Action Analysis: Infants’ Anticipation of Others’ Intentional Actions

      Amanda Woodward and Erin N. Cannon

    5. Contributors
    6. Index