Talk 27th Nov: Piotr Winkielman

Prof. Piotr Winkielman (UC San Diego)

12pm Wednesday 27th Nov., Nike Lecture Theatre, Agriculture.

Emotion, Cognition, and ‘Rational’ Embodiment

Emotions permeate social life and influence perception, cognition, decision, and action. But how do emotions do all that? I will argue that emotions often shape thoughts and behaviors via embodied mechanisms. In support, I will present evidence for the role of somatosensory and motor resources in the domain of recognition and imitation of facial expressions, understanding of emotional language, and influence of emotion on risky decisions.

Critically, my talk will also present evidence for a dynamic or ‘rational’ nature of embodiment. That is, I will show a selective, goal-dependent recruitment of specific somatosensory and motor resources, and only if such resources are needed. Overall, my talk will call for a more flexible view of the links between emotion, cognition, and embodiment.

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