CBB talk series

Dartmouth Events

CBB talk series

Please join us for a talk given by Jonathan Freeman, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at New York University.

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Moore Hall, room 302
Intended Audience(s): Faculty, Postdoc, Staff, Students-Graduate
Categories: Lectures & Seminars
Registration required.

More than meets the eye: Split-second social perception


Initial social perceptions are often thought to reflect direct read-outs of facial features. Our recent research suggests that they instead emerge from an automatic yet gradual process of negotiation between the perceptual cues inherent to a person (e.g., facial cues) and top-down social cognitive processes harbored within perceivers. Integrative evidence from multivariate fMRI, computational modeling, and the real-time behavioral technique of mouse-tracking will be discussed. This work shows that perceptions of a face’s gender, race, emotion, and trait inferences (e.g., trustworthiness) are fundamentally shaped by context and one’s own stereotypes, prior knowledge, and intergroup experiences. We find that these top-down impacts on initial perceptions are driven by the interplay of higher-order prefrontal regions involved in top-down predictions and lower-level fusiform regions involved in face processing. These dynamics have the potential to lead to systematic visual biases, which we show in certain cases may uniquely predict social consequences and real-world outcomes. Together, this work suggests that split-second social perceptions are malleable and shaped by context and higher-order social cognition. In turn, such malleability can create biases during initial perceptions that shape real-world behavior and may serve as a foundation for certain forms of bias.

For more information, contact:
Courtney Rogers

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.