Attending to and neglecting people: Bridging neuroscience, psychology and sociology

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Human behaviour is context-dependent—based on predictions and influenced by the environment and other people. We live in a dynamic world where both the social stimuli and their context are constantly changing. Similar dynamic, natural stimuli should, in the future, be increasingly used to study social brain functions, with parallel development of appropriate signal-analysis methods. Understanding dynamic neural processes also requires accurate time-sensitive characterization of the behaviour. To go beyond the traditional stimulus–response approaches, brain activity should be recorded simultaneously from two interacting subjects to reveal why human social interaction is critically different from just reacting to each other. This theme issue on Attending to and neglecting people contains original work and review papers on person perception and social interaction. The articles cover research from neuroscience, psychology, robotics, animal interaction research and microsociology. Some of the papers are co-authored by scientists who presented their own, independent views in the recent Attention and Performance XXVI conference but were brave enough to join forces with a colleague having a different background and views. In the future, information needs to converge across disciplines to provide us a more holistic view of human behaviour, its interactive nature, as well as the temporal dynamics of our social world.


Original languageEnglish
Article number20150365
Pages (from-to)1-9
Issue number1693
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2016
MoE publication typeB1 Article in a scientific magazine

    Research areas

  • Brain, Mutual understanding, Neuroimaging, Prediction, Social bonding, Social interaction

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