PSYC 363 Spring 2013 Mimicry and Mind-Reading: The Social Neuroscience of Understanding Others

Whether it is a returned smile from a passerby or a friend's commiserating frown, imitated facial expressions are ubiquitous in social interactions. Through an upturned lip corner or furrowed brow, we are able to rapidly decode what another person is feeling. In this course, we will examine the neural mechanisms that give rise to our ability to identify and empathize with the emotions we perceive in others. We will discuss the role of mirror neurons, perception-action mechanisms, mimicry, embodiment, and facial feedback in understanding the emotions of others. Finally, we will examine individual differences in this ability, including what happens when these mechanisms are impaired as a result of illness, paralysis, brain lesions, or in certain disorders, such as psychopathy, social conduct disorder, and autism.
Class Format: seminar and empirical lab course
Requirements/Evaluation: seminar/lab attendance, short response papers, discussion leadership, empirical research project, research paper, and in-class presentation of research project
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Prerequisites: Psychology 221 or 212 or 242 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Psychology majors and Neuroscience concentrators
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: PSYC Area 6 - Other/Interdisciplinary Psychology,PSYC Empirical Lab Course
Enrollment Limit: 16
Expected Enrollment: 16
Class Number: 3274
PSYC363-01(S) SEM Mimicry and Mind-Reading Division 2: Social Studies Alicia J. Hofelich
TR 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Bronfman 317 3274
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