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LTT: Antonella Tramacere
November 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Antonella Tramacere, Research Fellow at Mississippi State University, Associate Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, and Appointed Research Fellow at the University of Bologna
Lost in Abstraction: Awareness of Action through Time and Causality
This talk will be held online via Zoom and pre-regstration is required. Register here: https://pitt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2IgfHc_9QHSp-hbZpYSwOw
Abstract: A body of psychophysical studies suggests that subjective agency results from causal expectations and is connected to changes in time perception. Subjective agency is the awareness of being the one who executes an action, and it arises when one expects that an action causes a consequence. Remarkably, this expectation affects time perception creating the illusion of time proximity. This allows the definition of subjective agency through the connection to both causality and time, thus overcoming the vagueness and mentalism of previous accounts.
We describe and theoretically motivate the position that a subjective agency relies on an intermediate, supramodal level of representation between sensorimotor associations and symbolic reasoning. We try to predict the age at which infants acquire subjective agency, and the taxonomic distribution of these features among other species. We conclude with concrete proposals for testing subjective agency in ontogeny and phylogeny through non-verbal measures of time perception.